From Empty to Full
Flush with anticipation over the adventure that lay before me I took my first steps onto the time-bridge that led me from high school to college and beyond. Those steps were heavy with the weight of unanswered questions. Exciting vistas were opening up to me, yet emptiness was growing quietly within. God used this deepening void to prepare my heart’s soil for His word to take root.
Nurtured in an intact, loving and church-going family in a small town wedged between hills of western Pennsylvania’s Appalachians range, I was happy. I was happy on the outside as I filled my memory bank with experiences and accomplishments that masked an expanding cloud inside. But something was missing. In those late teen years I began to see gaping holes in my understanding of who I was and why I was. Conforming as best I could to the moral expectations and religious boundaries that I learned in home and church did not calm the swirling caldron of bigger issues brewing in my heart.
Never could I have anticipated that a radical change was about to alter my life, forever. While the world held its collective breath as Neil Armstrong left his footprint on the moon, my celestial journey had already begun - at a Billy Graham Crusade.
Most of that night was a blur. But I do remember that for the first time I heard the news of God’s saving grace. I’d seen Billy before, of course, on television. But I quickly turned the channel or walked out of the room. But this night the light went on for me. This was the missing piece of life’s puzzle – a Person, Jesus Christ. Now I see why He came to die. Now I see that I can have a true relationship with Him personally. Now I see that He is not distant and frowning, but very present and full of grace. I went forward and Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field became the launching pad of my new life.
Three things marked my college years that followed - #1 an exhilarating discovery of the riches of Christ as I was discipled via Campus Crusade; #2 a disciplined completion of my rigorous engineering studies; and #3 a head-over-heels falling in love with Mary. Decades have come and gone since then. As my footprints continue to make their mark on planet earth, I have a mission to fulfill; a compelling reason to live, to walk with Christ, to journey with Him. My former emptiness and confusion has been replaced with a firm identify and purpose.
What might my life have been like if that emptiness was left unchecked? How long would I have been haunted by an empty core? New life came to me when I trusted in Christ. And new life continues to fill my days and my soul. It is beyond words to describe the gratitude I feel for coming to know Jesus Christ when I did. The adventure has only just begun!
Posted on Fri, July 12, 2013
by Larry Nees filed under