Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Blessings of God Part Two

Photo Copyright 2011 Alycia W. Morales
“You have given him his heart’s desire,
And have not withheld the request of his lips.
For You meet him with the blessings of goodness;
You set a crown of pure gold upon his head.
He asked life from You, and You gave it to him—
Length of days forever and ever.”
~ Psalm 21:2-4

Do you remember the day you accepted Jesus into your heart and placed Him as King of your life? I do.

In the summer of 1994, I visited home after going through some trauma at college. At twenty years old, I’d made poor choices and realized I couldn’t do life alone, my way. I desperately needed Jesus.

I sat with my brother and some of his new friends (all younger than me) as they listened to my friend, Dean, play Christian songs on his guitar. Rock songs. I had no idea Christians could be so cool. I’d only known those who stood up and sat down and played old pipe organs while some grey-haired woman screeched out a solemn hymn.

As Dean continued to play, my curiosity about this “saving” concept grew. When I couldn’t stand it any longer, I blurted out, “Dean, can you save me?”

He looked at me and said, “Uh. No. I can’t. But Jesus can.”

I repeated after him and said the prayer of salvation on the spot. And asked to be baptized.

The pastor of my family’s new church heard of my salvation story and requested I give a brief testimony and recite the prayer again in front of his congregation on Sunday. I eagerly agreed. He told me he’d baptize me in the river after church. I couldn’t wait for Sunday!

Although the slight breeze blew chilly, and the mountain river water was early summer warm, I didn’t notice. The only thing I recognized was the joy and excitement bubbling up from somewhere deep inside of me.

“I baptize you in the name of the Father, the name of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” I plugged my nose, closed my eyes tight, and Whoosh! Under. Dead to my old spirit. Up and above. Alive to the new spirit. The new me. Me in Christ. I’d never felt cleaner in my life! And trust me, I hate swimming in fishy river water. But I didn’t feel covered in slime or nastiness. I felt sparkling, shiny, new clean!

Like I had a crown of pure gold on my head. Daughter of the Risen King.

Like I’d received length of days and a second chance to get it right. Forever. Eternity.

God met me with the blessings of His goodness that August afternoon. His mercy began following me for the rest of my days. Into eternity.

The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He’d love to have our lives in his hand. But when we ask God, when we truly cry out from the valley depths within us for newness of life with Jesus as our Savior, we find the true desires of our hearts met. We find life in Christ, and it comes with an abundance of God’s goodness we could never fathom.

Take the time today to reflect on the moment you cried out to God for His salvation. That moment you realized you were sinking in your own sinful self and couldn’t do life without Him for another nanosecond. Smile. Praise the Lord for His blessings poured out over you in that moment.

And have a blessed day!

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