God is real. There is no doubt in my mind. I say this not simply because I read the Bible and became overwhelmed by the convincing arguments I found. I was not really convinced by logical arguments that proved God’s existence either. Truly, those all came after I became a believer. Once I started to know God and discovered I belonged to Him, the Bible overwhelmed me and the logical arguments confirmed my beliefs.
Truly, God introduced Himself to me in a tiny chapel that used to be a pool house next to a swimming pool on a small North Georgia college campus, previously some kind of golf retreat center.
We didn’t stay in dorms, they were called villas, and one of the larger buildings had been transformed into the student center where boys and girls could mingle.
This college was a special place to be honest. I arrived there fully believing in Jesus, but also fully addicted to weed and alcohol. At my freshmen orientation, I was two weeks sober after going through a detox program. However, my greatest strength happened to be my greatest weakness.
I was really good at finding people who like to party. Honestly, I could have put it on my resume. And that’s exactly what I did. I fell off the wagon maybe a month after my arrival. The battle was on. I didn’t want to drink, but I loved it so much.
It was through this battle, however, that I was able to find the proof of God’s existence. I went to pray in the chapel and God met me there. The joy and warmth that He filled me with was better than any drug I had ever done. I only wanted more.
The problem was I had another master that I could not escape from. I was severely addicted and depressed, I wanted to do good, but just couldn’t let it go. I remember asking my friend to stop the car so I could throw up after a night of binge drinking as we were on the way to a spiritual retreat I was set to attend that morning.
Another time I was literally seconds away from going on a mission trip to serve the poor, but at the last minute I backed out and instead spent the week getting drunk and high with some friends in Athens.
I was a mess, but God entered my mess to lead me out of it. As I said earlier, God was showing up in my prayer time almost every time I prayed. It was a deep communal experience that He used to lead me to the understanding that I belonged to Him.
While these experiences were completely undeserved, I do think what helped bring them about was the simple fact that, in a way, I expected them. What I mean is, while these deep moments of prayer were an utter surprise to me, especially with how fulfilling they were, I was going to God with trust.
When I started praying at this volatile time in my life, I trusted that God was there listening to me and responding accordingly. I had the faith God was looking for. My heart, although at this time divided, was still open to what God wanted and He moved in on me. In essence, I trusted Him, and He showed me I was right in trusting Him.
Going back a little over a year before this, I was an atheist. No faith in Jesus at all. I thought Christianity was a joke, and only people who weren’t smart fell for it.
However, the sadness brought on by my selfish, pleasure-seeking lifestyle had eaten me up. I was miserable and desperate to find a way out. I was driving home from work one day questioning how I could be so sad. I had everything the world said I needed to be happy: parties, drugs, alcohol, money, girls – and yet I was utterly dissatisfied.
I realized I had never truly given Jesus a chance, and so decided I would try believing in Him instead. In that moment, I began to trust Him, and He gave me a somewhat mystical experience leaving me certain He was real. I started going back to Church and tried to stay sober and clean.
Though the sober and clean thing didn’t stick at first, I still believed in Jesus enough to trust Him. When I arrived at college, He truly started to reward my trust. Since then, I have seen amazing moments of God’s tremendous care for me, both through answered and unanswered prayers, He has allowed me to see how faithful He truly is. I am at the point where trusting God is in my nature and happens instinctually.
I suggest to anyone struggling with their faith, or even unsure if God is there, if you start trusting in God, He will not disappoint you. Put your life in His hands, believe that He will come through for you, and choose to see your life as a movie that is written, produced, and directed by God, and you will come to believe in Him, increase in your faith, and discover the beauty of a deeper relationship with Him.
Trusting in God is the beautiful recipe for discovering the amazing reality of Him. It’s like the passage from Sirach 2:10: “Consider the generations long past and see: has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed?”
The thing is, you do not need to have profound faith in God to trust in Him. I was still smoking Snoop Dogg levels of weed and drinking way too much when I began trusting in Him. He still came through for me.
Even more beautiful still – I am not special at all. God wants to come through for everybody in this way. I am still not perfect, yet He still comes through for me. This means trusting in God is the key to unlocking a wonderful and satisfying life we all really want. If you want to grow in your faith, or find proof that God is real, start trusting Him. You will see.