In the late 50s there was a young man who seemed always to be looking for trouble.
He only attended school so he could participate in sports. While at school he was a bully and would pick a fight with anyone who might look at him the wrong way. This young man eventually graduated not because he passed all of his classes, but because the teachers wanted him out of the system.
He eventually got married and started having children. His lifestyle did not change much. He spent most evenings at the bar apart from his wife and children and would engage in various other unsavory activities.
As you could imagine God was not a priority in his life. This continued on for several years until he started working with a man named Don wholed a very similar lifestyle as him. Over the next couple years he began to see Don making some big changes in his life. During this time Don seemed to become a completely different person.
Don got rid of many of his bad habits and seemed happier and overall content and at peace in his life. One day he asked Don about these changes.
Don explained how he started dating a woman who invited him to church a couple years back, how he had started going to church, and how he turned his life over to Jesus Christ. Seeing this change in Don’s life and the happiness it brought him planted a seed in this man’s life.
He wanted to make these same changes in his own life and asked Don if he could go to church with him. Over the next several years, as this man continued to go to church with Don he turned to Christ.
As stated in 2 Corinthians 5:17, this man became a new creature in Christ where “old things are passed away…and all things are become new.” Over the next several years, this new creature went on to have eight more children to add to the four children he already had.
I am the eighth of these 12 children. I have only heard stories about the kind of man my father used to be. My uncles would often tell me how much my Dad had changed his life around. My oldest siblings would tell me that I was blessed to have a completely different father than what they experienced.
What amazes me most about this story is how much love that the Savior Jesus Christ has for each and every one of us here on the earth.
He never gave up on my Dad and as soon as my Dad was willing to turn to Him, he was received with open arms and a loving embrace. In Christ we are given the ability to change for the better.
We are given the ability to be more patient, kind, loving, and compassionate. We are given the ability to forgive others, to be more tolerant of those with different views, to find peace in a world full of commotion.
Just like my Dad, I know that when we turn to Christ, we are given the power to overcome all things and he will make much more out of our lives than we can on our own.