One day a connoisseur of fine brass was searching through a pile of junk on the outskirts of an eastern city when he suddenly spied an old battered brass pot. It was dirty, stained and beaten up, but his practiced eye recognized a thing of value. He made his way through the junk and picked up the old pot and set it apart by itself. In so doing he sanctified that vessel. Of course he must spend many hours cleansing, straightening out the dents and polishing the old pot, until it becomes a thing of beauty to one day grace his living room table.
This illustration fits my life story perfectly. Before Jesus reached down and touched my life and placed me in a different and new place I went through life seeking satisfaction. I involved myself with a drug lifestyle and the results were crime, violence and almost prison time. The road I chose brought nothing but pain and suffering. I found myself at the age of 19 heavily involved in cocaine which began to control me. The drug that was supposed to bring in big money was now ruining me and many friends around me. The lifestyle that promised good looking woman, popularity and a tough-guy reputation was now nothing I wanted. I would work then go to the bar to drink until night time and once alcohol was involved cocaine easily followed. I will never forget those sleepless nights. I remember a couple times sniffing cocaine for 3-4 days straight without any sleep. It was those times when I was all alone so messed up I began to realize I needed help.
At 16 I sniffed my first line of cocaine. In just a few years I went from smoking dope to smoking coke to sniffing bags of heroin. On one occasion I even shot cocaine in my veins with my best friend. That same best friend died the next summer. Now that I look back at my life I see that God was doing something even though I was so far away from accepting the fact that I was lost. I began to hate myself and hate my ways.
My life may be a bit different from most young people because I knew the truth about Jesus Christ. I found out early in my life that Jesus was more than a religious figure in the Bible. I grew up in a Catholic home where we attended church fairly often. I went to the Catholic classes and got confirmation. I remember watching the people in church go through these rituals. I was not sure I understood any of it at the time. I never felt God or even believed Jesus was real. In 1987 my Father was invited out to a church called Victory Chapel. He eventually became a real biblical Christian. He found what it meant to become Born Again. That would change everything.
At the age of 9 I realized I needed what my Father had and needed to know Jesus for myself. I accepted Him into my heart through a prayer of faith. I wanted Him to show himself somehow to me so I could put my faith and life into His hands and He did just that but after many years of focusing on the right way to live, I got distracted and discouraged by the many challenges of living a Christian life among my friends.
So here I was at 22 knowing the whole time my life would not be successful without Christ. Yet I tried not to believe that because I thought I knew better. This is how I got saved from a lifestyle that would have taken me to Hell.
I had a friend who was also a born again Christian and he accepted Christ and was into sharing that with his friends. He was a young man who had struggled with the same type of problems most young people battle here on the Cape. Spencer had a passion about speaking about what had happened in his life. I don’t remember everything he said but I do remember he looked satisfied. That bothered me. I wanted to be happy but did I really have to become a Christian to have that real satisfaction? I would soon find out.
One night in January I got a call from a friend who told me that Spencer was murdered. This event shook me to the core. I could not believe Spencer had been murdered by people I knew. It was such a tragic situation. The story was incredible! Spencer had jumped in to save his friends life and in the action was stabbed and killed. The story impacted a community and even was spread to local news all over New England. It devastated many people and families. To many it caused them to ask why….to many it caused people to seek answers and to me it caused me to evaluate my lifestyle and my need for what Spencer had and that was Christ!
It was not long after Spencer had passed that I gave my whole life to Christ. That is what He wanted not just a portion of my life but my whole life. I had to give it all up, my sin, my ways, my goals and my heart. I had to trust Him and believe that He was going to fix me. Just like the illustration in the beginning, I had to trust that He could change me and make me into something useful and meaningful. It has been more than 10 years since the all of this took place. Today I feel the same way about Jesus Christ and will continue to live a life of faith in Him and help others find real satisfaction in knowing Him. He changed me so powerfully that today I am still completely free from all substance abuse. Those very things that had a evil hold on my life were broken by His power! It was an awesome thing to give my life to Jesus Christ.