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Why am I Here?

Man, it was hot. It was late July and my 5th wheel trailer had been in the Las Vegas sun for hours now and it was hot inside. I was on a deadline and needed to get the project drawings I was working on out to the contractor yesterday. But all I could think about was that cold beer in the fridge, that bottle of vodka on the counter and the heat.

Really, underneath it all, I was just tired. Tired of everything. Here I was living in a tin can in the desert barely getting by and my only hope came out of a bottle. For the hundredth time in the last week the thought of just ending it all came to me. I put my head in my hands wanting to cry but even that seemed futile.

What was the point of living ? Why should I go on? I wiped some of the sweat off my face with my shirt and could find no answers. I turned and looked at the unopened vodka bottle and thought, what the hell. Opening it, I drank a long drink from the bottle. As it burned its way down for some reason, I felt cooler.

Then it was dark. I must have passed out sometime. As I got up off the floor and my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I could see the counter was full of beer cans and the vodka bottle looked empty. As I looked closer, I noticed the unopened bottle of pills. I must have gotten the pain killers out of the bathroom cabinet again and again I must have chickened out. Why could I just not end it all, damn it?

This was the pattern of my life for over a year. I look back on it now and can only be amazed at God’s grace. I am still here, and I know it is only because of that grace. It took years to recognize that I could finally come to grips with the answer to the question ‘why’. Why I couldn’t and didn’t end it all. Why some of us need to get through the valley of darkness. And most of all that nagging question ‘why am I here?’

Even after my conversion and baptism is 2012, if you would have asked me ‘why I was here?’ I would have probably come up with some pretty lame answers. Don’t get me wrong. I am ok with this. Real conversion, real transformation is a day-to-day, minute to minute process. The apostle Paul puts it this way:

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) Spiritual growth is a process, a lifelong process.

And in some ways, that is difference between living in a relationship with God and not. I can live now with the fact that maybe I do not have all the answers to all the questions, but I trust the One that does. And yes, it took several years before I started to see that the plan God had for me would help me answer the questions which I thought I could find at the bottom of a bottle. And accept His plan was a heck of a lot better than the one I had held on to.

If you are just willing Holy Spirit does lead in so many subtle and not so subtle ways. Since 2014 my life has been a roller coaster ride I could have never imagined. The death of my wife of nearly 25 years, the woman who I had met as my bartender who eventually led me to Jesus Christ. Then walking through the valley of darkness only to be revived by a young pastor who involved me in prayer ministry. Falling in love again in 2016 and moving from Oregon to Georgia and then to Texas. All the while growing in ways to minister, sharing testimony in many churches, writing my blog, and being led to join Cheri Peters as a team member of True Step ministries where I now can share with all of you what God has done. And as I trusted God in every one of these, He has blessed me, and He has shown me some of the answers to the ‘why’s’. And every day He has confirmed it in His word.

“….the Lord is right and true, He is faithful in all He does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice, the earth is full of His unending love. (Psalm 33:4-5)

So, you see where as on that day so years ago I sat in despair and could find no reason to be alive. Today I sit here and cannot think of one reason that I should not be right where I am doing exactly what He wants me to do. As I have shared before “trust in the Lord for He is good.” Yep, He is right and true and faithful in all He does. And I am here as evidence of His unending love. That is not a bad answer to the ‘why am I here?’ question for this guy!

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