Forging the Faith of a Lifetime

As the sun disappeared below the horizon, I sequestered myself in my college dorm room. I hadn’t wanted to go to a frat party with my roommate. I avoided the Friday night fellowship meeting I always attended. Even the computer in the corner held no appeal. Moping in the dark, I felt absolutely isolated.

An hour later, an abrupt knock at the door interrupted my pity party. Was someone looking for my roomie or for me? It didn’t really matter since I wasn’t going to answer. I waited quietly for whoever it was to leave.

My friend was persistent. When I missed the fellowship meeting, concern drew him to my door. He seemed confident I was inside. Had I been sniffling that loudly? Eventually, he gave up and left. As his footsteps echoed down the hall, silent tears slid down my cheeks. I mattered to someone.

Contemplating that reality, my mind drifted to another One I knew cared for me. I had met my heavenly Father thirteen years earlier. As a child, I had asked Jesus into my heart. I read the Bible practically every day, knew most of the stories, and had memorized many verses.

That night I contemplated the crux of Christianity—Jesus died for me. Envisioning my Savior on the cross, His tremendous sacrifice troubled me. I felt utterly unworthy. Prayerfully slipping to my knees on the cold, hard floor, I poured out my heart to God.

Jesus should never have been on that cross in my place. It wasn’t fair! He shouldn’t have had to pay the penalty for my many sins. I should have to face the consequences instead—even if it meant Hell. Why did he do it?

In the silence that surrounded me, I heard God clearly answer: “I love you.” At that moment, I knew the words I had heard at summer camps and youth group were true: Even if I had been the only one who needed saving, Jesus would have willingly died for me—He loves me that much! Accepting the truth on a new level, I cried tears of joy and gratitude.

In that defining moment, my faith was forged afresh. Although future trials would test me, I would never doubt my need for a Savior, God’s love for me, or the certainty of my salvation.

Did you grow up knowing Jesus? If so, what defining moment drew you even closer to Him and forged your grown-up faith?