I have often felt that it is important in any person’s life to know who they are; to have an open and honest picture of the person they are and the person they are trying to be- without forgetting the person they once were. So, while this post can only offer the encouragement for you to do a self examination of who you are, where you’ve been, and where you intend to go, I will attempt to do what I feel is necessary for anyone asking so much of someone, I will lead by example.
You could say that I was a baseball player and though many have played the game far better than I could have ever hoped to, I was decent enough. You could say that I was a high school and college athlete, an honor student at every level. You could say that I was a nerd and a bit of a geek, and you wouldn’t be that far off in saying so. You could say that as of about 7 years of age I was saved, though saying that I was a follower of Christ probably wouldn’t be accurate until about 22. Some will tell you that I was a womanizer, addicted to wrecking the lives of girls and they would show you the carnage that I left in my wake that stretched for miles, and they wouldn’t be wrong.
I am a pastor. That doesn’t mean that I am better, holier, or have a more direct line to God than anybody else. Because of what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary, the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom and at that point, we all had equal access to our creator. Being a pastor doesn’t mean that I have it all together. I am constantly at war with my anger and have the ability to be manipulative and cut people out of my life as if they never existed- not skills I’m proud to possess, but nevertheless they are there. I am a man who struggles with self worth and the constant, nagging guilt of my past. I doubt myself…..a lot.
I tell you my background so that you see the struggle I go through is not that dissimilar to yours. The problems you face on a daily basis are some of the same struggles I face along with countless other people. I tell you of my struggles so that you don’t run away from God saying, “how could you,” but instead so that you may toward God saying “please help me.” You see I share this so that I can tell you who I am in Christ.
I am a son, a brother, a cousin, an uncle, a husband, and a father. My life is a story of how God can and will call anyone to do His work. I get too passionate at times, work too much, and often speak on shear emotion; but, I love fiercely, honesty is my favorite virtue, and God’s word is what drives my thoughts. I am a person who wears his heart on his sleeve, says I love you all the time (and means it), and can sometimes come across as “smothering.” I am a man who once you ask me to be a part of your life, you get all of me, because I don’t know how to only give you part of myself and I don’t do anything half way. I am a man who loves to write and gets inspired by words. I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed and I want the world to know what God has done for me. I often ask God the very lyrics to songs such as:
“Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt?…”
“Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?”
Only to discover that the answer is given in the lyrics of another song like:
“In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;”
So, who am I you ask? I am sinner saved by grace. A sinner that should have rightfully been put to death for everything I have ever done, but here I am- a sinner, alive and well. Who am I? I am better than I deserve and I cling to one of the founding truths in my life:
“No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”
Rev. Bro Coach.