Thank God for Grace

Christian is a college-aged hipster and lover of colorful tattoos who lives in Detroit, Michigan. We met him in August 2014 when he came to Cape Town for a missions trip. This Saturday, he's venturing back to the Mother City with Team Detroit to serve with our ministry partners, and we're stoked to see how God moves in his life. Thank you, Christian, for a lekker blog, bru!

I am the epitome of a complacent, lukewarm Christian, and I hate it.

For some time, I struggled with doubting the existence of a divine creator. This doubt didn't arise because something drastic happened in my life, causing me to denounce Jesus Christ. But the devil is smart, and I am weak.

Until recently, I struggled to hear from God. During worship, I'd look all around me — only to see people wholeheartedly experiencing God. And there I was... lifting my hands, because if I didn’t, someone would think there was something wrong with me. They would approach me, and God forbid I'd have to talk to someone about what was going on in my life.

This was a pretty much the extent of my relationship with God.

There were times when I really wanted to hear from Him, so I'd try my best to dive into the Word. That would only last a week or two. Then I'd give up... because all I heard was silence.

But now I know God was trying to speak to me the entire time. I just wasn’t sure what His voice sounded like.

I don't deserve what God has given me. I haven't appreciated its value. By the grace of God, I am saved. If we were saved by our works and our works alone, I'd be at the back of the line — with nothing but hopes of getting into heaven.

If I could compare myself to any biblical figure, I'd most definitely be the prodigal son. I've run away from God (far too many times), and every time, I've come back to Him. His arms are wide open, ready to receive me.

If that doesn’t prove that God is gracious, then I don’t know what will.

This weekend, I'm returning to Cape Town with my youth group, and I'm fully expecting God to move like He never has before. My advice for anyone who's about to embark on a Christian missions trip or retreat is this: come expectant. I've never thought much about "expectancy," but I can honestly say that for the first time in my life, I'm expecting to see miracles — not only around me, but within me. 

I know that if I simply "let go" and let Him use me, great things will happen. And in past years, that's exactly the area in which I've been lacking. I didn't know how to let go and let God work — through me, in me.

Cape Town, the second time around, is going to be both eye-opening and heart-opening.

I thank God for the grace He's given me, and I pray that if you struggle with anything that I've mentioned, that you'll earnestly ask God to reveal your blindspots. I pray that you'll let Him into those spaces and that you'll let Him work. You will not regret it.