It doesn’t take a theology degree to play a part in the Great Commission.
Published on: 11-05-2018
Tests and trials are part of life, but even big trucks have a weight limit. I had reached mine. Desperately trying to survive against all odds—just like Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman play. Though in my case, losing perhaps the greatest pillar I ever had in my life—my father—caused the whole building to come tumbling down. Broken friendships and academic setbacks pulled me into the depths of clinical depression. I decided enough was enough. Since God had not been “kind enough” to let me leave the world, I would “help” Him out. Suicide sounded like mercy to me!
My self-destructive mission was simple: first, go to a nightclub; second, get drunk but stay sober enough to see an oncoming vehicle that would then hit me and assure instant death. Fearing that I would look out of place in a club, I decided to familiarize myself with current secular music hits. As I searched for music on my phone, I stumbled (by God’s providence) upon the contemporary gospel song “I Never Lost My Praise.”
“I’ve lost some good friends . . . some loved ones . . . but in my disappointment, in my season of pain, one thing never wavered, one thing never changed.”
The stanzas described perfectly my situation, but I didn’t have enough faith to believe in the words of the chorus.
“I never lost my hope . . . my joy . . . my faith . . . but most of all, I never lost my praise.”
Surely, how could I praise God in my dungeon of despair, in my pit of pain? On that weekday I found myself in church as I waited for the night to set in to commit suicide. Unknown to me, the room I sat in was the meeting venue for one of the church youth groups. Members began to trickle in, and I felt this was the moment to exit. Before I knew it, one of the leaders started the meeting with a prayer—a poignant prayer that spoke to my situation, unbeknownst to him. Wow! Before I knew it, the group began to sing the very song I had listened to earlier! Coincidence or God-incidence? Was God trying to say something to me? I couldn’t hold it. I went to the restroom and wept furiously. Right there, I gave my life back to the Lord. Suffice it to say, I am still alive sharing my testimony. My life has never been the same!
You see, Dear Diary, it took a couple of young adults coming together to sing for God on a weekday, out of their own initiative and outside the regular church program, to reach out to me. They impacted my life for eternity—what preachers, ministers, or theologians were unable to do in the many church services I had attended that year. God is in the business of saving many young people like myself, and He will complete His work using anyone with a willing heart. No impressive credentials are needed in His service. In His eyes, age is nothing but a number—look at Naaman’s young servant girl! It doesn’t take a theology degree to play a part in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19, 20), for our Lord doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called. “All His biddings are enablings,” wrote Ellen White.1 And now, even as a 19-year old freshman in college, I know He has a big plan for me to influence lives for eternity in His kingdom. What do you think, Dear Diary?
1 Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons (Washington, D.C., Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1941), p. 333.
2 I first met Hazel (not her real name) in that youth group meeting three years ago. She immediately joined our youth group and began to share her newfound faith, inspiring other youth in despair. She now works part-time as a production assistant for a local television station where she writes Christian TV shows. I am grateful to her for allowing me to retell her story through her eyes.