I Was Killing Myself Spiritually. I Had to Let Go of the Anger, Grudges and Forgive.

After the drowning incident, my view on God was forever changed. My perception of Him was much more clear-headed, not so clouded by previous history. With clarity came guilt. I realized I had done some real trash-talking about my God. When I was blaspheming and disparaging Him, I didn’t think I was poisoning myself with the spiteful mockery, but I was. It all became so obvious. I felt guilty for not respecting the Creator of my life. I realized that I now had to have a heart-to-heart talk with God. This was a whole new level of communication. It’d been so long since I sincerely prayed. I knelt on the floor in my closet, where I knew I wouldn’t be interrupted. I bowed my head and crossed my arms reverently, waiting in silence. I gathered my thoughts on what I wanted to say to the Almighty God. Tears of shame started to swell up in my eyes. I opened them for a moment, then squeezed them shut, causing hot tears to roll down my cheeks. These tears were long overdue.

Christian inspirational speaker Derek Clark speaks on forgiveness







I started off my prayer by saying “God, please forgive me. Forgive me for what I have become in Your eyes. Please forgive me for the disrespect and mockery, for taking your name in vain all these years.” I needed to get it all out, confess both to myself and to God the true nature of what I’d done, and let Him cast His righteous judgment upon me. What I felt next was not judgment, not harsh words, not sudden death or the cold shoulder of God. I felt only warmth and love. God didn’t say anything to me, exactly. I didn’t hear His booming voice reverberating through my head. But He did put peace in my heart, something I hadn’t enjoyed for a long time.

You see, when you harbor negative feelings in your heart, you can still become successful in life. You can make money and friends. But it’s hard to feel gratitude toward the creator of life, God. I was successful in my personal and financial life, but spiritually I was poverty-stricken. I still didn’t believe in a God who loved me, a God who wanted to help me. God was still an adversary. When I was yelling, cursing, and taking His name in vain, I knew I was doing something wrong. But the more I did it, the less wrong it came to feel. Sacrilege became a habit. It became easier and easier to cut Him off and disrespect Him. The more I insulted God the further away I pushed Him. But the further away He became, the more I wished for intimacy with Him.

Even so filled with anger, I didn’t entirely sever myself from God. I still went to church and tried to do the right thing. I just didn’t care for Him as my God. I thought if I tried to follow His rules, He would miraculously call me by name one day: “Derek, you make me so proud!” I longed for something, some kind of grace, that I knew only God could provide, but I grew tired waiting for Him. Like an impertinent child I tried to chastise Him for not bending to my own needs and desires. What a patient God He is! After all these years of ill-will I’d shown Him, I knew He didn’t judge me, or hold me accountable for all the things I said and did. But on my knees, crying in the closet, asking for his mercy, I only felt the peace of forgiveness.

As I finished up my prayer, I knew God did love me. I knew He’d been watching over me my entire life. I was certain of this. At times, when I picture Him looking down on me, I see sadness in His eyes. He sees me keep stumbling through my trials and tribulations. He sees me making mistakes and take the wrong path. I think of Him waiting for me to call on Him, saying “Heavenly Father, please help me find a solution! Give me the strength to fight my way through this trial!” I don’t believe God was waiting for me to say, “Hey God! Get me out of this situation now!” I now know to ask for inspiration, guidance, and wisdom, so I can make the right decisions.

Instead of merely begging to be rescued, I ask for a change of perspective. God wants us to learn the lessons life has to teach. If we don’t experience struggle, we aren’t fully human. How do you become a stronger person? Not from constantly being rescued, but marching your way victoriously through the trenches. It gives me great pleasure knowing I have overcome a troubled past. If I had been rescued, perhaps I’d have taken a much different road in life. Maybe I would have been content with feeling like a victim. Maybe I would have never seen the value of developing personal strength and endurance. Maybe weakness would have led me to drug and alcohol addiction, or unable to resist a violent impulse.

Trials have made me stronger, period. I would not want to trade my problems for anybody else’s. I wouldn’t want to walk in anyone else’s shoes, whether more comfortable or not. My shoes were designed for walking through my own problems. My shoes have carried me through some pretty chaotic journeys. My shoes and I have traveled through the thick of many storms. And now I’m able to buy some great shoes for these weathered feet! My new shoes are water-proof, storm-proof, and heat-proof! No way, no sir, I do not want to have on any shoes that are not my own. I am blessed for the problems I’ve had to overcome. I believe God gave me problems because He wanted me to overcome. God has a plan for Derek Clark.

As I get older, and hopefully wiser, God inspires me to be smarter, to value life more, and to share an important message. The message is that no problem is so big or so small, so simple or so complex, that you cannot ask Him for guidance. You just have to ask with true intent and a humble heart. Prayer doesn’t secure you a fast-track pass to God and a bunch of easy answers. I don’t believe He will completely deliver you from troubles without you doing your part. I believe He’ll give you the strength and insight to deliver yourself from any particular problem. He is a strength and He wants to help you help yourself. I believe we’re all here to learn lessons that are particular to our own life. Without these lessons, we remain souls stunted in our growth.

I no longer have animosity towards God. He has released me from the bonds of my own personal hell. He has helped me break the shackles of ego and pride. He has given me the insight to know that my weaknesses one day will become my strengths. The strong rely on God! I am still here breathing on this Earth. I have a yearning to praise Him. I have compassion in my heart for my fellow men and women. God is now by my side. I have let Him in my heart. Real hope is through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Reach out to Him.

Written by Christian Inspirational Speaker Derek Clark


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