Lara Klopper, Hild Bede

17th February 2015

lara

Sitting down to write this, it is really hard for me to pinpoint the precise moment when I became a Christian. Looking back, I can see God at work throughout my life, calling me to him and drawing me into relationship with him.

I was blessed to grow up in a loving Christian family who laid a solid foundation for me in my knowledge of God and God’s word – The Bible. At the age of 9, I decided that I wanted Jesus to be my king and so, said a simple prayer inviting him into my life and saying sorry for my sin.

At that point, I didn’t really understand what ‘sin’ was and just assumed that it was the bad things I did – being mean to my siblings, occasionally lying to my parents and forgetting to feed the hamster. However, as I grew into my teens these ‘bad things’ became regular swearing, going to parties and drinking against my parents’ wishes, being disrespectful to teachers and just generally being pretty selfish – all normal for a teenager, right?! What I didn’t realise was that these things I had been doing were simply a manifestation of a much bigger problem with a more serious consequence. I had been rejecting God as Lord of my life and living in a way that pushed him out to the margins – just for Sundays.

When I was 16 my life changed pretty dramatically – my parents decided that my family were moving to China, taking away my popularity and the life I enjoyed in England. At first, my anger was directed towards my parents but then pretty soon it shifted to God. I felt like God didn’t care about me or what I wanted in life. As I wrestled with this, I came to realise that I hadn’t given God any proper recognition for the past few years and that I hadn’t considered what God might want for my life. The real meaning of sin became clear to me – I once was blind, but now I could see. I had rejected God yet enjoyed the many good gifts of life that he had graciously given me. God opened my eyes to where I had gone wrong.

Not long after this, I came across the Bible verse ‘For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ (Jeremiah 29:11). My anger at God evaporated – Although the move to China was hard and I still missed the UK, I was at peace with the knowledge that God knew what he was doing and had a good plan for my life.

The best part of that plan was that through trusting in Jesus Christ, his death on the cross and resurrection, I could have a relationship with the God whom I had alienated from my life. In his death on the cross, Jesus took the punishment I deserved for dismissing the one who gave me life and loves me dearly.

Because of God’s mercy and love, I am able to live life to the fullest and look forward to an even better life that is to come – a great certainty that those who trust in Jesus can have.