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Finding the very real God

By Maarten Pieter

I’d always been an idealist, believing that there was something eminently worthwhile pursuing in life. I had no idea what ‘it’ was but could see I would be continuously frustrated if I didn’t live up to its standard.

The Pursuit of Meaning 

I’d been to church in my early childhood, so I knew some biblical stories and I wasn’t afraid of the concept of Christianity, but at that time, Jesus only seemed like an inspirational story without any relevance to me personally. 

Over the last couple of years, though, this gradually changed as I was searching for answers to life’s major questions through chats with friends and reading books. One of my best friends, who’s a Christian, was central in this. Over time she patiently removed my misconceptions about Christianity, and no question was too much for her. We’d have long and honest conversations – often by night – and she also directed me to various books (particularly Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis) and resources, which I absorbed as my enthusiasm for God gradually (but subconsciously) flared up. However, the last push didn’t come until I met someone from Agapé Students in the first week of this academic year.

As it turned out, my friend at home had been praying that someone in Oxford would come into my life to tell me more about Jesus. He did, and at the end of that term he encouraged me to commit to what I pretty much believed was real anyway.

This was clearly what I needed, and when I’d read one more book (The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel) and reached the conclusion that the death and resurrection of Jesus were actual, real historical events, I couldn’t escape it any longer: Jesus had something to do with me.

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That night I prayed to God and told him in a very matter-of-fact way that since He’s real, I’d like to get to know Him. I also asked Him to essentially sort my life out and make me lead it in accordance with His will.

Well, God definitely didn’t let me down! As regards my life, so far He has shown me many unhealthy attitudes and relationships I have, a number of which have been (partially) healed or removed: some changes were very abrupt, others have been gradually occurring over time.

More importantly, God has shown me how great He is, how much He loves us and how incredible Jesus’ sacrifice is. He is teaching me to love Him and His creations every single day. As I try to grow ever closer to God, I thank Him for revealing Himself to me and making me feel loved and known.

Though it has only been a couple of months, I can hardly imagine living without God anymore. To be honest, I am pretty certain He was there all along. 

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