I was Drowning in Desperation and Loneliness

My Name Is Nathan Laidacker, and This Is My Story

When I was a child I was happy, but as I grew older, I became aware that I was not right with God.  The Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23.

Not being right with God felt like desperation and emptiness.  As time went on, this feeling of emptiness in my soul got worse, so I would try to fill it with different things like fun, friends, girlfriends, alcohol, money, success and pride.  All of these were a distraction to me and would get my mind off of my empty feelings, but ultimately, once the distraction was gone, the emptiness would come back.  It was like I was falling into blackness, as if my soul was screaming out in desperation because of the impending doom that it felt was coming.  I would try to quiet these feelings with the self-destruction of smoking or binge drinking which were like cutting myself on the inside with no visible scars.  I was in desperate need of the help of God.   I did believe that God existed, but I didn’t believe on Him with my heart.  The Bible says “… if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9,10.

Satan is the god of this world, and he is so very cleaver as he deceives the world.   He deceived me.  I can tell you that looking back on my life, I was a slave to Satan and his lies. He had me blinded to the truth. “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”  2 Corinthians 4:4.  I listened to Satan and thought that I could save myself by simply praying a prayer.  Many times while growing up, I had said a prayer and asked God to save me.  I prayed this prayer, because I wanted to go to Heaven.  I continued to pray this prayer into adulthood, because I didn’t want to go to Hell for my sin.  I thought if I used the right wording, God would save me: “Dear Jesus, please come into my heart and save me, please wash away my sins and forgive me.”   These prayers to be saved didn’t give me peace, because along with these spoken words were unspoken stipulations: “but I will continue to make my own decisions,” or  “just don’t ask me to do what I don’t want to do,” or “I’m sorry, but I will do these sins again if I need to,” etc.   I knew I was a sinner and needed help, but I was not desperate enough to yield the throne of authority in my heart to Jesus Christ, the Creator God.  What he wanted from me I was not willing to let go of —- everything.

I joined the military to run from the emptiness in my heart.  At basic training we had to tread water for two minutes wearing heavy gear, but I could not swim very well.  As I tried to perform this task, I was not able to keep my head above water.  I kept going under so I tried to swim toward the instructor who had a flotation device.  When I got near to him, he grabbed me and pushed me under the water.  When I came up, I was barely able to get a breath.  I was desperate.  For the first time in my life I was in a situation without any hope of helping myself, and I felt as if I was going to die.  I cried out to God as loud as I could with all the other recruits watching and listening: “God, help me! Jesus, please help me!”  I didn’t care who heard me, because I was desperate.  As I cried out for help, my body was lifted up on top of the water so that I was higher in the water then the instructor floating next to me.  All I could do was cry out “Thank you, Lord!  Thank you, Jesus!”  I swam around in circles on top of the water, laughing and thanking the Lord.  I remember the look on the instructor’s face — the look of amazement.  Why had God done this for me?  I needed to know.

The Lord used this as an example to show me a picture of salvation. Just as I was powerless to save myself in the pool, so I was powerless to do anything to save my soul.  Doing good or praying a prayer could not save my soul. I needed to trust Jesus to save me without any stipulations or pride on my part.

The Bible says, that God uses preaching to bring sinners to Himself.  “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” 1 Corinthians 1:21.  As I sat and listened to the messages in the Bible-believing church I was attending, I could feel Jesus drawing me to Himself.  With patience, He answered the deep questions that my angry heart longed to know.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13.  With all my heart I began to search for God in the Bible. I read the book of John once through but didn’t find Him; then twice through, wanting to find Him, and I saw some of Him; the third time through, the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to me in a way that still makes me happy to this day.  I am not able to describe finding Him in the Bible to you with words, but I will try:

You have been alone your entire life until you have been with Jesus; you have never been loved until you have been loved by Jesus; you have never felt peace until you have been with Jesus; you have never been still and quiet until you have been with Jesus. Jesus is God, and Jesus is Love.  He created people in His image with love, but we turn our backs on Him. We shake our fists at Him and use His perfect name as a curse word, yet He loves us still.  We murder, lie, and steal, and yet He loves us still.   While He was on the cross, we spit on Him, we mocked Him, we tortured Him, and we hated Him. Yet He loves us still.

We are all guilty of sin. I was guilty as charged, a sinner of the worst kind, I deserved to go to hell, but Jesus saved me by His grace (undeserved mercy).

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”  Ephesians 2:8.

I cried out to the Lord, and Jesus came into my heart and saved my soul.  It was not the words of my mouth that saved me.   This time, when I prayed to the Lord to be saved, the attitude of my heart was different.  Through the preaching of the Bible and the reading of the Bible, I saw myself as I truly was, the chief of sinners.   I begged for mercy from the Father of whose Son I killed, the God whose law I broke, the righteous Judge who took my judgment on himself, but most importantly, the God who loved me.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6.

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.