There is no way that I can share everything that God has done in my life in a couple of minutes, which is really exciting but does mean that this is definitely not the whole story – as most of you probably know Jesus is the person who I love to talk about most, so please please talk to me more about Him later!
I had the wonderful privilege of growing up in a Christian family. I can remember praying as a very young child, I can remember on one occasion repeating an identical prayer three times, in turn addressing the prayer to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit so that none of them felt left out. One of my earliest memories is begging my Dad to tell me another Bible story before I went to sleep – the condition being that it had to be a story I had never heard before.
Despite knowing God my whole life, I definitely haven’t treated Him as God my whole life. Yes, I’ve always called myself a Christian, but looking back I can see that I’ve spent much of my life just being distantly acquainted with Him. Whilst I would stick up for God in RS lessons and debates with friends and lived a life where I was good, kind and in many ways in line with the life that God calls us to live, there was a huge fundamental flaw. I lived ignoring Him. I didn’t stop to listen to Him and I didn’t talk to him, or rather I did very occasionally when I found myself in a tricky or hard situation and wanted something from Him.
I lived as god of my own life as I pursued my own personal glory and gain through exam results, sporting success and striving at trying to make the biggest difference in the world as possible. My identity and value were tied into these things, which was fine as long as I was doing well at them. But as I’ve found these things don’t stand and when they fall my security and confidence also comes crashing down. God’s taught me this through a whole range of different things in my life, including stress fracturing my back which meant I wasn’t able to do gymnastics for a year, coming to Cambridge and being crippled by the fear of failure and comparing myself to the other brilliantly clever people here and being crushed by the pressure I put on myself that I needed to change the world to live a meaningful life. We don’t have to look much further than ourselves to see how incredibly broken the world is and how desperately we’re all searching for an identity that satisfies and fulfils us.
I have found that the only place where I am truly known, truly found and truly loved is with Him. The only place where my identity will always be secure is in who He says I am. I am His child. And he loves me more than I could ever dare hope. And whilst I am not and never will be enough to change myself, let alone the world, He is.
God’s unrelenting faithfulness to me throughout my whole life blows me away. Throughout my life I have rejected Him time and time again. Time and time again I have decided to reject his authority as God of my life and make myself god of my life. Time and time again I have trusted myself and my own ability instead of Him. But despite all the times I have rejected and hurt him, he has never, not even for a moment turned away from me. He has and always will love me more than I know. He is always with me and he will always be waiting for me with open arms.
And this is an opportunity for me to stand in front of Him, and in front of all of you to repeat what I pray will be the cry of my entire life.
Jesus is King of my life. God I am your child. Every single thing I have, every day, all of my energy, all of my love, every single breath – it’s all yours. You and you alone are worthy. Just as you have freely given me all of you, I freely give all of me to you.