Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quest for Acceptance

My life has been a quest for recognition and acceptance. A mid-childhood immigration experience left me at a cultural disadvantage in Canadian sports. I found solace in the army cadet corps and “nerd-like” achievements. Family finances and positive experiences in the Canadian militia reduced higher education options to one: enroll in the Regular Officer Training Program. I joined the Canadian Army in 1965.

The quest begins
Ever since arriving in Canada, I responded to recognition from my friends. My security and happiness was based on acceptance—from friends, from my achievements and from being considered a good man. I longed for a university degree, an officer’s commission and a beautiful wife. All these fueled my desire for acceptance.

The competition
I was later selected for regimental exchange (where one nation sends one of its officers to a regiment in another allied nation in exchange for one of their officers for a period of time). Upon arrival in Germany, I was perplexed to discover that my immediate commander was not a British officer, but an on-fire-for-Jesus American. He excelled academically, athletically and militarily, making me feel less worthy of recognition in comparison. I was determined not to be like this American.

My commander took me to hear a speaker who explained who Jesus is. It was explained that by believing in Jesus, I would be considered a child of God. This was very significant and healing to me as I had a huge deprivation in my father-son relationships. I cannot fully explain it, but I felt like a wind was constantly blowing behind me, as if it was revealing the presence of God.

Very soon after, my boss came over to my home. I agreed to pray the prayer to accept Jesus into my life. I confessed each of my sins specifically and as I did, the physical dimensions of our living room seemed to disappear. It was like a glorious light that gradually grew in intensity filled the room. Not everyone must go through the same experience in order to believe, but for some reason, God decided to reveal his presence to me in such a way. It consumed any doubt I ever had. Jesus did indeed die for me and my sins on the cross and rose from the dead after three days. Jesus is the son of God. The whole Bible is true. I believe that through Jesus, I can have a relationship with God, and full acceptance.

The next twenty years of my life would be considered a success story in the way the world measures success. Although I was eager and active about serving God, in all honesty, success and advancement emerged as an idol. God loved me so much that he gave me a corrective crisis. It taught me to always depend on God first above everything else.

In 1995 I underwent surgery for a brain tumor. The doctors were not very positive and told me that I had a 30% chance of living. Prayers of faith gave me the assurance that I would survive, and I did, though I did not like my post-operative condition. It is a miracle that my talking, swallowing, walking, seeing, and dexterity have been restored. My recovery was so rapid that I managed to pass the military fitness standard and later retired.

Truly in Christ there is no fear of death. Best of all, my God loves me. I am a child of God. My quest for acceptance is over. There is more than enough recognition and acceptance for the rest of my life.

Your quest
If you have been looking for acceptance and recognition but seem to fall short of everyone’s changing expectations, you are not alone. Everyone longs to be accepted and loved. We all know what rejection feels like and try everything we can to avoid that feeling. God has accepted you for who you are, no matter how unworthy you feel. He sent his son Jesus Christ to die for your sins. The quest is over. Christ offers you a relationship with God and full acceptance as God’s child.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.  Amen!

An article by Howard Marsh 

If this short testimony has touched you, please feel free to share your thoughts or if you would like to share yours please go ahead without any hesitancy.  May God Bless You!! 

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