Lord, be my God
As far back as I can remember, I have been in the church. I can still recall attending the children’s meetings where we would sing hymns, the teachers would tell us that Jesus loves us, we would shout “Oh! Lord Jesus”, and we would get snacks when we got hungry. But to me, this was a regularity every week and I just went through the motions through the years. The meetings were fun, not because I enjoyed being in the meetings in particular, but because I had many friends there. We would run around the hall and the meeting room, playing a game that we would make up on the spot, talking about games that we played over the week and other things that boys normally did.
Introduced to a Personal God
This changed when I entered junior high. Part of becoming a junior higher was that, aside from going to the young people’s meeting instead of the children’s meeting, I could go to the Summer School of Truth – a two-week summer camp. Young people like myself would go for one week to learn about a topic at the Chicago meeting hall. For the second week, we would go to a camp in Green Lake, Wisconsin to learn more about the same topic and to do many activities that I couldn’t normally do in the city, like fishing, kayaking and archery. I don’t remember the topic of my first camp, but I do remember that, in one of the sessions, we read a verse:
Exodus 3:6 “And He said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.”
The point of the verse was – God said that He is “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” God is a God of individuals! He is a personal God! This struck me. I realized that although He was definitely my parents’ God, He was not yet my personal God. I had such a history in the church, but the God whom I worshipped was not my own God. I never treated Him as mine. Before that moment, He was an abstract concept far away from me. It never occurred to me that He was a living and active God who could be personal to me. This meant that, no matter what, even if around a third of the world may be Christians, He would always have time for me, for what matters to me. After this particular session, I told the Lord, “Lord, make Yourself my God. Lord, You may be my parents’ God, but You are not yet my God. Lord, be my God.” Ever since that day, He has heard my prayer.