The only qualifications I have to write about God’s grace are from my own personal pride and arrogance. Now you may be thinking that doesn’t sound right but it actually is. You see for many years I was enamored with myself. I bought only the most expensive clothes, drove only the most expensive cars, and lived a life filled with self-adoration and conceit, assured that God was proud of all my accomplishments. Let me explain to you how grace found me.
Striking it rich at 24 years old in the oil business, my life was something akin to the 1956 movie Giant. At the time I had been in the ministry literally all my life. At 2 years old I was standing on the altar singing to the congregation in my dad’s church. At 8 years old I was preaching downtown to people waiting at bus stops and handing out tracts as well as delivering the occasional Wednesday night sermon at our church. From an early age I was with my father as we traveled to Mexico on mission trips helping the needy, building churches and orphanages and spreading the gospel. At 18 I was the youth pastor of my local church and by the young age of 21 I was the youth pastor at the largest Assembly of God in America. At 25 I was a multimillionaire.
At 24 I had taken a year sabbatical from the ministry to start a company with my dad, as I was able to raise some funds to drill for oil. It seemed reasonable at the time, as I leaped at the opportunity for wealth. Then it happened – We stuck the largest oil well in the continental US in over 50 years. I was making millions of dollars a year.
I went from a life of serving, praying, praising and talking about God to a life of serving, praising and talking about Darrell. It didn’t take long for me to replace God as the center of my life, and after a while I forgot about God all together. My heart filled with scorn and contempt, as I talked down to and verbally abused people. Lips that once preached of God’s love spewed foul words that were filled with ugly remarks. I strutted around filled with pride thinking I was above the average person assured that I was destined for greatness.
It took me a while as it is hard to blow 30 million dollars, but by the mid 1990s I had wasted most of the fortune I had made. Depressed with a struggling marriage and a dwindling business I tried to find solace in drugs. At 40 without a wife, without a business and without God I was completely a broken man.
I found myself alone in the desert of self-doubt, breathing in the harsh disappointing dust of the dry cracked ground of my life’s tragedy and pain. I found myself in a corrosive place that I never thought I would be as my life came apart on the broken wings of my vain intentions.
From an early age I had been indoctrinated to the gospel. As a young child I had received salvation asking Christ to the Lord of my life, yet I never really understood the depths of God’s grace. I preached about a grace that at the time, I did not fully understand or comprehend.
The grace that the thief upon the cross received as he looked past the wood and nails and blood, was a grace much-needed. Many believers have been taught about grace since child-birth yet have never tasted the fullness or power of God’s grace. Like a bottle of fine wine they possess grace, display grace; then sit it on a shelf as their prized possession. It is only when that wine is opened and consumed that they are able to fully taste and understand the fullness and richness of their possession.
Losing my way was the best thing that ever happened to me. My life being broken and shattered was a gift beyond measure as I was “lost” for the first time in my life in need of God, and that is how grace found its way into my life. My pride and arrogance caused me to reject the knowledge of God in my life and I lost my way. On that night over 15 years ago my vain coverings had turned to into pauper’s rags as I humbly knelt before God in need of a loving Savior. In his mercy God gave me His grace, and it fills every moment of my day with a joy that is beyond my ability to put into words.
God’s grace is sufficient to complete in me what He began in me as I child. Grace makes me realize that I am totally dependent on God. Now when I stub my toe, I much prefer to walk with a spiritual limp as opposed the perpetual carnal strut that was once was my gate, as grace renews my mind daily in Christ Jesus.
God sees us all. From the great plains of Kansas to the beaches of Florida, from the Grand Canyon to the oil fields of Texas; from the stockbroker to the stock boy, from the race car driver to the drunk driver, God sees us all. And He loves each of us. Despite all of our pride and arrogance, He says to each one of us, “I love you dearly and when you turn and walk away from me, I want you to know that I have provided a way back for you”. That way is His Grace.
- Inspirational Pictures, Images and Bible Verses of God’s Grace (darrellcreswell.wordpress.com)
- Changed life is the right response to God’s grace. (craustralia.wordpress.com)
- By Gods grace (rockchristiancenter.com)
- Loving God? (deeredeemed.wordpress.com)
- Excerpt From Terry Virgo’s, “God’s Lavish Grace”, And My Thoughts (19phil19.wordpress.com)
- Grace is Dirty (blakeericadams.com)