I grew up in a happy home, the youngest of three boys. Both my mother and father were good parents who on occasion would go to church.
At the age of 15, I became curious about drugs. There were friends in my neighbourhood who were doing “dope” and seemed to be having fun. So I started experimenting with what some call “soft drugs” such as marijuana and underage drinking. Little did I know it was my sinful nature that propelled me to make this choice!
Romans 5:12 in the Bible says: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
At the beginning of this road I chose, I was having fun being with the crowd and enjoying the experiences. However, late nights, heavier drinking and harder and more dangerous drugs inevitably led to less interest in school and my family.
While on a trip to Toronto at the age of 18, I overdosed and wandered the streets of the city. Thankfully, the police picked me up and recognized I needed help. I was admitted to the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital where I was constantly warned by the medical staff to stay away from drugs and drinking. I can recall even swearing on a Bible before my parents that I would never touch the stuff again!
But within six months of returning home, I returned to drugs and drinking with a vengeance. I was not consuming drugs and drink – the reality was they were consuming me! Over time, a despair crept in, leading to weeks of depression and hopelessness. I started to consider suicide as an answer to these feelings of hopelessness. After reaching age 23, there were times I wondered, “Is this all there is to life?” I remember going to night clubs and just standing among hundreds of people and feeling very alone and tired of life.
I decided to buy a Bible to see if there was anything in it that could help. Coming home one night, after a night of excessive drinking, I opened the Bible randomly and my eyes fell upon the parable of The Sower and the Seed (Mark 4:1-9). It illustrated the response of different people to the Gospel message: some hear and believe; others hear but don’t believe. I did not understand, but I spoke to God and challenged Him, “If you are God and you are what the Bible says, show me the Truth!”
God was doing a work in my soul! At this time, a friend of mine found salvation in Christ and she started to witness to me. I was 24 when for the very first time someone actually told me about Christ and His saving grace. She invited me to witness her baptism and I accepted the invitation.
On that sunny Sunday afternoon, I felt that my prayers were heard. There were approximately 100 people at a lake witnessing a baptism and everyone looked different – they were happy. I thought to myself, “I want what they have!” That night I was invited to hear the Gospel message for the first time in my life. The preacher faithfully preached the good news. In my mind it seemed like the preacher knew everything about me. Of course he didn’t, but God did, and He was continuing to do a work in my soul. No one had to convince me that I was a sinner, but the best part of the preacher’s message was that God loved me and proved it by the Cross at Calvary. I realized that Jesus died for me!
The following Sunday I again attended a Gospel meeting. At this point an uninformed friend of mine warned me to stay away or I would get brain washed! That did not happen, but eventually my ‘sins’ - not my ‘brains’ were washed away!
The next day, I had to get this issue of my sin debt settled, so off I went to a cabin my uncle owned near the lake. In that cabin I found a book entitled, By Searching, which I began to read. This book had plenty of Scripture verses that pointed me to Christ: including Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart”, and John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”. These Bible verses touched my conscience and that evening with no one around for miles, I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. Then and there I passed from death to life and found the satisfaction and purpose that I was missing all those years!
It’s been close to 40 years now and I surely would still recommend Christ to anyone and everyone. He saved my soul, and He saved my life!
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