God’s Irresistible Call: A Personal Testimony on a Life-Changing Encounter with Jesus

Ephesians 2:8-9, Anawangin Cove, Zambales, Philippines
Anawangin Cove, Zambales, Philippines | April 2010

Turning Point

It was a decade ago, in the month of June or July, when I experienced one of the lowest points of my life.

I lay on my bed crying as I imagined myself alone in a place of infinite darkness. There were no walls around me that I could lean on, no roof above my head to give me shelter, and the floor I stood on was hidden from my sight. I had no one to turn to, nothing to hold on to and nowhere to go.

I resigned from an exciting career to find a higher paying job because I couldn’t be indifferent to my family’s financial needs. In the process of changing jobs, I needed to wait for two long unproductive months before the start of training. I thought I’d go crazy! Those two months of unemployment felt like I lost what I valued the most – my  work – which spelled my purpose, value, usefulness, security, and success.

Having no source of income defeated my goal of helping my family, which made me more frustrated. All the emotional and financial stress soon resulted in a conflict. So I concluded, not only was I useless, I was also wicked. In addition, I grew tired of a wrong relationship I was in for a long time and the only thing left to do was to end it.

Everything I could have held on to and sought after were either gone or distant. I was Alone. Helpless. Wretched. Wicked. And there was nothing I could do to resolve it. The only one I can turn to is Jesus Christ. I flooded my bed with tears as I recounted all my misery to Him.

Then, unexpectedly, He spoke to me in a soft and gentle whisper, “I love you.” His voice was clear but not audible.

I echoed His words and answered Him, “… but You love me.”

I cried all the more yet I was comforted. He is the only one who has seen every detail of my life and has stood by me in times of grief. I remembered those times when I needed help but found none which made me more and more independent and self-sufficient. During those desperate times, the Lord was the only one who came to my rescue. This enabled me to understand that I do not need to carry all my troubles by myself because it’s too burdensome and I cannot do it alone; instead, I can cast all my anxieties on Him. Not just with what I learned in school and in church but also through my experiences, the Lord has proven He is indeed trustworthy and the only one I can depend on.

A Desire to Know More

After I sobered up, I decided to do something productive. There were a lot of things I thought of doing, but for some reason I did not do what I would have typically done. Instead, I became interested in going to church more than the usual Sunday attendance.

In hope of knowing more about the Lord; I eagerly involved myself in different church activities, attentively listened to sermons, became interested in volunteering in the church, and regularly attended novenas on weekdays; but I found nothing new and my questions were not answered. I had no one to ask and there was no opportunity for discussion. I did not know if there was more to seek than just those rituals.

Nevertheless, the Lord is provident. Little did I know that He already prepared everything for me after that time of waiting.

Life-Changing Realizations

The Lord used the lowest points of my life to enable me to recognize the fact that everything I valued in this world, all I have acquired and worked for, everything I do and have achieved, even my capabilities and vigor, and everyone I cherish can be taken from me in an instant and will only become a memory of a distant past. However tightly I hold on to anything or anyone, the Lord is still ultimately in control; the One who gives and takes away. It dawned on me that I cannot define myself with things that are temporary. The only thing that I can eternally hold on to is Christ’s love.

Jesus opened my eyes to see the truth of who I was – no one, what I had – nothing, what I valued – empty and fleeting, how I lived – sinful, what my condition was – alone and wretched. And there is nothing I can do to save myself from my wretchedness. I really need Him.

In my wretchedness, He spoke tenderly to me and told me He loves me. His love for me is not dependent on what I have done (good or bad) nor on what I can do. He doesn’t love me because I am worthy of His love rather He loves me because of who He is.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

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