Does Your Life Even Matter?
The Parable of My Soul
Author: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS
Before I asked Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior, I thought I was a Christian. I believed in God – for the most part. I believe He created the world. I knew the sun, the moon, and stars could not be created by man – therefore, God had to be the originator. However, my thoughts around who God was confused me. I really did not know God as a loving caring Father in heaven. I considered God a mean dictator ready to strike at the moment I made a mistake. I thought God simply created some people to have a great life and other people to suffer. As I repeatedly glanced around, looking at my surroundings – I considered myself one of those people chosen by God to suffer.
But I could not understand why?
“Why God?”, I would ask so often. Why was I chosen to be so unhappy? Why was I chosen to feel sad, mad, and angry – all the time?
Although in my mind I thought God was a mean dictator, I would hear people refer to God as loving.
Really? If God is so loving, why was I so unhappy? Not only me, why are so many people in the world suffering? Why are people, as close as next door to me, living in poverty? Why do people live in fear of man? Why is there so much violence?
God is a loving God? I could not comprehend his love, yet I was desperate to know if there really was more to life than what I was experiencing.
Sometimes The Truth Hurts
Philemon 1:4 “I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all saints.”
Onesimus was a runaway slave who providentially came into contact with Paul and converted to Christianity. For reasons unknown, Onesimus ran away from his owner Philemon. Runaway slaves faced death as it was a major crime in the first century. Onesimus fled to the largest city he could find – Rome; where he encountered Paul. Through this encounter, Paul shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Onesimus and he converted to Christianity.
This was great news for Onesimus, right? He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior – so all of his problems would simply be resolved, right? Since God is such a loving and caring God, surely God would allow a miracle to happen in which Onesimus would not have to return to the brutal inhumane life of slave – right?
How wrong we are when we do not know God. How wrong we are when we do not understand Jesus’ death on the cross.
John 19:30 “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
When we do not understand the cross we are in a spiritual tug-a-war with God. We want our way. We want His love, but we want His provisions our way.
A walking time bomb is a huge understatement for who I was prior to asking Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. From the time I was a very young girl, genuine earthly love eluded me. I can still vividly remember mistreatment at the hands of family members. I can still recall living in fear wondering if my mother would pick me up from school or other places she left me, as I was always the very last child waiting – for a very long time.
I can still recall living in extreme poverty wondering how many bugs would crawl on me during the night as I slept. I can still recall moving so many times and going to different elementary schools. I recall sitting in the back of the classroom alone because I was tired of trying to make new friends. I can still recall sitting in my classroom wondering why I didn’t dress well, or wondering why I wasn’t as smart as the other students. I grew into a very angry adult wondering what I had done to deserve such a life. People would tell me I was mad at the world. These were people from different seasons of life; people who had just met me – who really did not know me – yet I was told I was mad at the world all the time.
I was mad at the world!
I wanted to be happy – and did not understand why my life was so bad!
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I was thirty-one years old and I had simply resolved to the fact that my life was purposeless. God may be a great and loving God, but He did not care about me or my family.
That was truly how I felt.
We bought a house in 2007 in which the owners of the house had left a garage full of their belongings. We waited to see if they would return to get it. We finally decided to get rid of everything. We were cleaning out the garage one sunny Saturday afternoon simply throwing everything away. My husband, Omar, was just about to throw away a box of books. I stopped him and asked to look through the box. I quickly glanced at the books and grabbed three of them. I put the books in my room on my shelf with the intention of reading them one day.
Well, my intention lasted several months. However, every single day I found myself picking those books up from the floor as my then, one and two-year-old, would knock all of the books onto the floor.
One rainy December night, in 2007, my life changed forever. I stood up from my computer to pick up the books that were on the floor – as usual. Yet, on this night, I stopped suddenly on one of the books I had brought in from the garage months earlier. The book was called “The Sermon on the Mount.” I started to read the book. I finished it within two days. That book put Jesus Christ in total perspective for me!
Finally, this was it!
I knew there had to be more to life and I had found it!
I knew I had a purpose – and my purpose was found in Jesus Christ!
I asked Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior in December 2007. I was so elated for the new beginning.
I quit the job I had that Monday morning and decided to enroll into Bible College.
My life would finally have meaning!
The hurt, pain, anger, and sadness would finally go away!
The financial problems we were actually facing at that time would go away!
Life was finally about to get better!
…Not so fast!
To Be Continued…
Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS