I first knew about “God” when I was in Primary School. My mum had enrolled me then into a student care centre run by YMCA where I was exposed to Bible stories and had the occasional field trip to Church – but I was not mature enough to understand anything back then.
As I grew older, I just followed suit with my parents’ beliefs as I saw it as the duty of an elder son. I would follow them to temples to pray and go for rituals and festivals with them. But I ultimately wasn’t willing to commit myself to something I had many doubts about.
Yet no matter how far I was – however much I tried to shy away from Him – Jesus pursued me by sending His disciples to share the good news to me.
In Polytechnic, I joined the Boys’ Brigade Primers Programme with the intention of becoming a TOUCH Motivator. I found my good friends there. Over the course of 3 years, they shared the gospel to me at various points, but I would simply reject it because I wasn’t interested.
But one day, after I was invited to a program, a senior asked me: “Why do you think you are in Primers?” I replied in jest: “Because I chose to join for NDP“. He simply told me, “God chose you.”
God chose you. Those words somehow stayed in my mind as I travelled home that night.
God is waiting for us to come back to Him. He is waiting with His arms wide open.
So I went the next day to the session I had been invited to – it was called “You Can Overcome.” I found it apt. They showed a video of a boy who was struggling to carry boxes. It was a parallel for the many stresses of this life – one which I could really relate to. Besides my studies – which were already in a mess – I had many other responsibilities to juggle.
I realised if I let Him in, God could help me overcome these struggles. I decided to take a leap of faith and said the Sinner’s Prayer. But I still had some doubts, and was even reluctant to go up to at the altar call on Sunday morning service. But God touched my heart that morning through my pastor’s message, and gave me the conviction that I was making the right choice.
My journey with God was just beginning. I didn’t tell my parents I had become a Christian as I was afraid they could not accept my newfound faith. And my fears were not entirely unfounded. After a year of hiding, they found out – which brought a lot of friction.
For the next 2 years, I felt very distant from my family – quarrelling frequently over misunderstandings. Last year, as I was about to turn 21, I chose to surrender my fears to God – especially when it came to baptism. But as I also wanted to honour my parents – I sought their blessing to get baptised. Though they would not sign my baptism form, they gave me their blessing and told me that they had accepted that I am a Christian.
An outpouring of God’s love came crashing over me when I received the confirmation message from my Church. Even up to the day of my baptism, I still couldn’t believe I was finally going to step into the water in obedience. I had gone from being someone who struggled against God for years, to seeking my parents’ blessing for my baptism – to getting baptised! Tears of joy and gratefulness flowed down my cheek as I worshipped Him after my baptism that morning.
Just as the father rejoiced at the return of his prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32), God is waiting for us to come back to Him. He is waiting with his arms wide open.
God’s pursuit of our hearts is relentless, and His great love is always there and readily available. The only thing to do is to make that simple choice to say “Lord, I love you.”
If you do – it changes everything.