'I didn’t understand or trust God back then, but he still cared for me'
Theo’s story | From confusion to clarity about God’s goodness
“In 1950, I attended a Methodist youth group as a teenager, and I remember being told by the youth group leader that God destroys the wisdom of the wise. I was stunned and I didn’t understand it. The youth group leader was quoting from 1 Corinthians 1:19 and she showed me that verse, but I didn’t like it.”
“How could I trust a God who was going to destroy wisdom and prudence? Not long after that, I was pressed to preach in a church service. I resisted, but I was firmly reminded of Jonah’s experience when he tried to escape a God-given responsibility, so I complied. I thought I better read the Bible first, so I started at Genesis and by the time I reached Leviticus, I was thoroughly confused. So I turned over into the New Testament and reached 2 Corinthians 5. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (v 17)
“It was a good truth … and I used that verse for the sermon, and it all went well. But I still felt very confused. I didn’t want to trust God if he was going to smash my intellect … and that fear of God as a tyrant haunted me for years … until a long time later, God sorted me out. He put Christians in my life who cared for me. They followed me up and gave me somewhere to live. They were very helpful, and by the grace of God, I started to learn about the Gospel, through them.
“I remember the first time I heard someone preach on Isaiah 53. The preacher pointed to Jesus, the Son of God, who was eternal and yet suffered for us. I realised that God was a whole lot better than I had thought! God indeed was a good, heavenly Father!
“Now I’m 87 and I have seen clearly for many years that God is gracious. We see the outworking of his grace through his Son, the Lord Jesus, who gave his life as an atoning sacrifice for us … and then he rose in triumph over sin and spiritual death, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for believers. And the Holy Spirit is given to us to guide and accompany us. As well as that, God puts other Christians in our lives to help us – witnessing!
“I didn’t understand or trust God back then, but he still cared for me. It brings tears to my eyes at times! I still find it amazing that God, in his grace, cared for a boy like me who was so messed up.
“And I love that song, ‘Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see.’”