A Testimony Of A Friend

by csnyder 17. January 2012 00:48

I want to introduce you to a dear brother in Christ, David Martin.  David is a very gifted artist that has come to understand two things, his identity in Christ and the finished work of Jesus on the cross.  I asked him for this blog and I want you to read it.  I think that it will benifit us all.

I didn’t know what I was looking for. I was just empty. I searched to fill that empty space only to find that the hole in my heart was larger than anything the world had to offer. What is ironic about this is that the more I filled myself with what the world had to offer, the more expansive the void became. I found myself wanting to be “wanted” even though I had more in the realm of earthly family and goods that most men would be enviable of. As a matter of fact, I know of a few men who were jealous of my familial and religious “success."

Little did they know that my “success” was nothing more that a façade that satisfied the political realm of our small community. It was tantamount to keep up the appearance of success even though this success was, at best, a house of cards. Then, one day, the house of cards fell with such a jolt that it destroyed everything I came to believe about the god that I had been presented with for the last 20 years.

I have learned that what I feel and what is reality are the direct opposite of each other. My religion was based on how I felt on a particular day and how far the adrenaline of one church service would carry me. I was basing my religion on how much spirituality I could cram into my finite mind. All the while, I was trying to live according to my own spirituality and running in a vicious circle of sin, guilt, grief, repentance and reconciliation. This never ending rat race left me in physical and mental disarray and my soul as empty as the religion I was imposing on myself.

I remember the time and place where I screamed in disgust at myself and punched out the face of my radio in my car. I pulled to the side of the road and cried. I remember my body shaking uncontrollably and I pleaded with God to show me what I was doing wrong. “God, I have served you faithfully for 20 years and I still cannot stop this unending cycle of sin and guilt. What am I missing? Don’t you even hear me? Are you there? Have I gone so far that You have refused to hear me?” God did not answer. I then continued my tirade with one last ditch effort to get God’s attention, or so I thought. “OK, I don’t want anymore of this religion. You can have it because it’s worthless anyway. I quit, I give up. Go ahead, take me!”

God then spoke.

“Good. It’s time you gave up on your religion. I have been waiting on you to give up and rest in Me. You see, David, My yoke is easy. You are the one who made it hard. I Am your peace.” And with those few words, my soul finally rested. I cried for hours after hearing God speak to my soul in that manner. I have heard that voice before, but thought it couldn’t be from God since it was so quiet and not condemning. I then remembered a scripture song, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.” I began singing that song in rounds and the burden that I perceived was there had vanished.

I started listening for the first time in my life. I had placed God in a box for so long that I forgot that He talks to me directly. I kept hearing these words over and over again, “I love you, David.” And I would reply, “I love you, too!” I have learned that He is forever saying, “I love you” It is only when I get still that I hear it.

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About the author

Craig Snyder has been married to Jonni Gooden Snyder for 37 years.  He has three grown sons and one grown daughter.  He has eight grandchildren.

Craig has been in full time ministry since 1974, having been on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has pastored for over 25 years.

Craig has ministered  with Grace Walk Ministries since 2001 and serves as Director of Missions and also pastors a home church.  He travels extensively in Latin America, and the U.S. and Canada sharing the Grace Walk of our Lord Jesus Christ.