I was asked to write a spiritual biography of about 300 words. I’m not quite sure what exactly that means, but this is what I wrote:
The most important thing that God has ever taught me is that he is the God who redeems: he is powerful enough to take our worst moments and use them for our good.
I remember learning this in college. I was struggling with sin, failing to overcome even the little faults and bad habits in my life. I was frustrated. How was I supposed to ever conquer the big things when I couldn’t even manage the little ones? It was then that God taught me that his strength is made perfect in my weakness: every time I fell short, it was an opportunity for him to show how amazing his grace truly was.
I learned it again when my wife struggled with extensive medical problems a few years ago. As a consequence, quite a few doctors told us that having children wasn’t in our future. For that and a number of other reasons, those couple years were the lowest point in my life. But it was by taking me through the valley of the shadow of death that God taught me that he is my shepherd.
I learned this again when we moved overseas for a couple years. What was supposed to be a fun experience turned out to be a financial and logistical nightmare. If someone had handed us a free plane ticket back when we first got there, we would’ve taken it without hesitation. But when it came time to move away, we were sad: it had become our home, thanks mostly to the Christians there who had shown us God’s love.
God has demonstrated his love for me in so many ways—-some pleasant, others painful, but each one proof of his grace. Many times he has brought me to the place where I can say, “I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” I rest in the knowledge that God will continue to change me by his powerful, redemptive grace.