No Matter How Much We Hurt, There is Always Hope
- Bayless Conley Pastor & Speaker
- 2006 27 Jan
My life is an amazing story of God’s unfathomable grace. When I think of the depths to which I fell, and tell of the trouble I got into, it’s a wonder I am even alive today!
Day after day, month after month, and year after year, I fell deeper into the abyss of drug and alcohol abuse. I was desperately searching for truth…for the meaning to my life…for any answer as to why I was here. But nothing satisfied. Nothing filled that empty void. And nothing gave me the answer I was looking for.
Until that day in 1975, when I was confronted with the truth by a courageous young 12-year-old boy. Through him, I met the living Christ…and my life was changed forever.
The story of my childhood is a lot like many kids raised in the 1950s and ’60s. I was born in the city of Long Beach in southern California and I was raised as a normal southern California kid.
I was into sports, especially baseball. But when I entered junior high school (around the age of thirteen) my life began a slow descent. First, I started smoking cigarettes with some other kids because I thought it looked cool. And then I started drinking because I thought that looked cool too.
I can remember getting up in the morning as a thirteen-year old kid, drinking, and then going to school drunk. I can also remember going to school at times with just a terrible hangover…a horrible headache…which became the norm for my teenage years.
I smoked pot for the first time when I was around fifteen. The first joint I smoked led to a lot of other drugs. I started to smoke hashish and take LSD, speed, and barbiturates, and occasionally I snorted cocaine along with a whole plethora of what were called “organic drugs.” Rarely a day went by when I wasn’t wasted.
It was about that time that I began in earnest on a spiritual trek, looking for the truth. I thought the drugs would be a way to do that. I really was looking for something that satisfied. And I can’t tell you how many times during the course of those years God spared my life. All I can say is somebody had to be praying somewhere!
I became pretty intense in my search for truth. I checked out this religion…then I checked out that religion…then I would check out another. I even began going to channeling meetings where someone would supposedly be taken over by the spirit of some ancient master. That spirit would come into them, and they would speak and give this vast wisdom and knowledge. As I look back at it now, it is clear these people were possessed by demons.
And it was all a dead end.
It’s a long story…covering a number of years…but one day I went to a park, sat on a big rock and started throwing sticks into the water, while thinking about Jesus. He had been on my mind all day.
About ten minutes later, I heard something and looked up to see a little boy sliding down the opposite creek bank on his rear end. He sat on a rock right across the creek from me…no farther than ten feet or so.
After he said “Hi,” he looked up at me, picked up a stick, and threw it into the water close to where I sat. There was this sort of silent communication going on. And then he broke it by asking a question that nearly gave me a heart attack. Quietly he asked, “Do you know Jesus?”
I about fell off my rock when he said that! And for the next twenty minutes this little twelve year old did nothing but talk about Jesus. He talked about Him like they were best friends. I had never heard anyone talk that way in all my life.
Over the course of the next few months, I met Jesus in a miraculous way…something I want to share with you in my booklet, There Is Always Hope. Just see the box on page one to find out how you can receive your copy.
More than anything…through my story…I want you to know there is always hope. No matter how desperate your situation—or that of a loved one—God is a God of miracles.
I pray God uses my story to encourage you today…or to help bring someone you love to a saving knowledge of Him.
Bayless Conley pastors Cottonwood Christian Center, a thriving church located in Orange County, California. His television program, Answers with Bayless Conley, airs on television in over 100 nations worldwide.Visit his Web site at www.answersbc.org. To order your copy of the "How to Pray" booklet, visit www.oneplace.com