“The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled” (Isaiah 2:17)

“Can I talk to you? It’s important,” said the young man who approached me with a big smile. Talk to me? Why? It looked suspicious. What did he want?

I had to admit he looked sort of friendly, but whatever he wanted, I was not in the mood. Suddenly I noticed he carried a Bible and then I understood.

He was talking about God. He was converting people, and I was to be his next victim.

No way. Not me.

“You know God?” he asked when he came close. He seemed genuinely happy, but since I was not, I could not let him get close to me.

I looked at him with an air of self-righteousness. Who was he to know what I needed? Had he read the Tibetan Book of The Dead, as I had? Had he studied meditation and yoga as I had? I was even highly experienced in the use of mind-altering drugs. No, this fellow would not be able to enlighten me.

God cares about you,” the young fellow tried gently.

Enough.

“Of course I know God,” I answered rudely. “I am God myself! Everybody is God. We are all part of the great cosmic universe!”

He looked puzzled for a moment but then a big grin came on his face. “I don’t know about that, friend,” he said. “You sure don’t look like God!”

What was that? Clearly that fellow could not discern real spirituality. I did not look like God? How dare he say that! My pride was hurt and without further ado I stomped off in a huff.

***
That was years ago. And I am ashamed to look back at that time. That fellow was right. I did not look like God at all.
And neither am I Him. I know that now, for I found faith in God not much later.

I admit, and probably God Himself will agree, that it was a painful operation. He had to shoot a few holes in my pride. That’s what usually happens to people who think too highly of themselves. But when I gave up and surrendered, He was there. I still remember it so well.

I traveled by foot through the world, in search of an answer. Alone, lost and hungry.
And there in the loneliness of my own confusion there was a voice: “Fear Not. I am with You. Be not dismayed, for I am your God!” Where did that voice come from? Was God really with me? I did not know.
Then I passed through a town and met another young man, just like the other one. He too had a big smile.

“Can I talk to you?” he asked. “Do you know that God cares?”

And I broke down and I cried.

“Please tell me more, I need God!”

That was almost forty years ago and He has never left me since.
And that after I mocked Him, ridiculed Him and told Him in no uncertain terms to get lost. Why would anybody be so kind after being mistreated so much?
It’s because God is God. Because He truly cares. And because He understands.

“With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible!” (Mark 10:27)

And today?
I am still walking with Jesus. He means the world to me.
I am holding on to Him and He holds on to me. We are tight, Jesus and me.
It’s an unbeatable combination and that’s why I ask you too: Hey…can I talk to you? It’s important!

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Koos Stenger

Hi. My name is Koos and I am from the Netherlands. I have known Jesus for about 40 years and lived as a missionary in several countries, like Brazil and South Africa. Recently I moved back to the Netherlands in order to write. My goal in life? I hope to help, inspire and strengthen others with the Good News of God's love. I have been married for 40 years and my wife and me have seven wonderful children. (and one dog) I pray my articles will be a blessing to you, dear reader. Warm greetings and God's blessing to you. Kind regards Koos

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