Thirty-five years ago when I was 22, something unexpected happened. I met God. I had a childhood filled with all the world and to offer. Violence, little money, drugs, alcohol, death, murder, sex, suicide. Only the faintest whispers of a God. So faint I could not even have called it a god much less the God. A world that made me live inside my head that flooded with depression, suicidal tendencies, fear, anxiety, doubt, disgust, little hope. Somewhere inside of me there was this small sliver of hope. I wanted this hope. I needed this hope. Through providence, God laid out a path for my life to wander towards Him. He gave me a guide although she was very silent. My guide paid a large price and still is. Then one day I was by myself. Just me and this burden that felt greater than death. This burden that shook every thought, every feeling, every experience, every fiber of my existence. I experienced God. However, it was clear we were not in harmony. It was revealed to me in very graphic, heart breaking clarity that I was unworthy to and separated from a holy God. I could feel, directly communicate with the most wonderful God but was not as His child but as His separated creation. The absolute devastation of this separation was unbearable. I prayed, I cried, I begged, I reasoned, I talked, I screamed, I knelt, I did every imaginable thing I could think to no avail or relief. I drove my car to find someone who could help. I could not find them. There was no one that could help but Him. As I am driving on the interstate, I finally am exhausted and without any hope that I could see. I had asked for forgiveness for all wrongs and thoughts and even let go of all love even my guide. No relief. I jump off the cliff within me and say, you have to catch because I have nothing else to give. At that instant, silence. No more guilt. No more struggle. Harmony. Eternal harmony.
Bro. Lain Tomlinson is the Youth Director at Beckwith Missionary Baptist Church. He was called to preach in October 2015 and has preached all over middle Tennessee and Texas since then.