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Pat Bradley

 

Growing up in the 1960s, I became convinced that life was meaningless.

Fear of nuclear war and painful bereavements had made life seem pointless.

Why strive to achieve anything when it all ended in death?

I’d been a church attender but this, too, seemed pointless. It made no difference to my life. I even doubted whether there was a God at all.

So, I focused on material things and found much fulfilment in marriage and motherhood. Dark thoughts still came, but I was used to those.

 Then suddenly everything changed. I went to a special church service and there, for the first time,

I heard an explanation that made sense of why the world is the way it is, and what was wrong with me.

The world had been spoiled by sin.  I was a sinner who needed a Saviour.  God himself had provided him in the person of his own Son, Jesus Christ.

We were asked whether anyone wanted to know him personally. It seemed a strange question.  Who wouldn’t, if it were possible?  I certainly did, but even as I was saying so, sceptical thoughts were rising. I didn’t want to be gullible.

But I accepted a copy of John’s gospel. I read it many times.

There I discovered a Jesus Christ very different from the one I had imagined as a child.  He was powerful and wise, deserving my deepest respect.

Had he really risen from the dead? Could I really know him personally?

With many questions I began to attend a Bible-believing church.  I began to see how much I’d offended God and I was deeply sorry.

Life wasn’t meaningless after all. It did matter how I lived because I was accountable to him.

It was a few months before I really knew that Jesus Christ had taken the punishment I deserved for my sins and I was forgiven because of him.  What peace I experienced!

The world became a different place to me then.

I saw new beauty all around and could thank God for creating it.  Many years have passed since then but this joy has never dimmed.

And I found profound meaning in living as one of God’s people.

As I read the Bible and prayed I began to change for the better,  It’s a continuing process but I’m glad I’m not the person I used to be.

I no longer think attending church is pointless. Worshipping God, learning more about him from the Bible, meeting with other Christians, is a great privilege.

I know now that death is not the end and I am so grateful that I was made to see the danger I was in when I lived with no concern for my soul. Life is not meaningless. It has eternal significance.

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