Monday, December 10, 2007

God humbled a proud convert

Let me tell you a personal story.

When I became Lutheran at about 27 years, I was filled with joy at what God offered me in Word and Sacrament. But as always, the devil is right behind with his lies.

I was reading the Bible several times a day, everything seemed to just "click" for me in my new church. My beliefs were constantly being reaffirmed in word and deed. Not only this, I became involved in online discussions, and I seemed to be doing well there too. In fact, I said to myself "You are pretty darn good Ed, you can destroy all these heterodox arguments with ease!" Things were perfect.

Then, it happened. Suddenly I couldn't believe anything. Not.A.Single.Thing. Not the Trinity, not the Atonement, not Holy Communion. Oh, I could read the Bible, see what it was saying, know what the truth is etc. But I couldn't believe a word of it. No matter what I read, who I spoke with, how often I went to service, I just couldn't believe anything. I began to despair, like someone who knows his habits will destroy him, yet he simply cannot take the elementary steps to stop his demise. I knew what was the fate of those who do not believe is, yet I could not believe even though I had knowledge of the truth. In this despair all I did is ask my Lord, like a child "Don't leave me!" And with that, I was able to believe again. This burned into my conscienceless that faith, i.e. trust and belief in God and his promises, really is his gift. I could not "choose to believe", I could not submit to God's command to believe the Gospel, I couldn't do any of these things. In my opinion, God humbled me to teach this to me.

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