Reach | Testimony #4
John Rigg | Assistant to the Reach Pastor
Music has always had an impact on me throughout my entire life. Whether it was listening to my mother’s 45 collections or tuning into my favorite station on my transistor radio, music moved me, and it altered my thinking. I even spent a short time playing guitar in a garage band as a teenager entertaining people at weddings and special events, and it was who I was. So, it was no surprise to me later in life, that God would use music to reach me, to rescue me.
I was 40 years old, and the life that I had created for myself was not working out as I had planned. My wife of 19 years, had just announced to me that she no longer wanted to be married and was leaving. We had two sons, teenagers at the time, and my fear was that this was going to blow up their world, and it did, along with my own. During this time of great confusion, I constantly evaluated my life to somehow figure out where I had gone wrong. In my mind, I was a good man, husband, and father, yet everything was falling apart, I was seeking answers. So, like so many others that self-guide their lives, I made wrong decisions, developed unhealthy friendships, and patronized places I had no business being in; a bad situation was getting worse.
One day a friend, seeing the state of my life, suggested that I try attending church. He invited me to tag along with him and his family on Christmas, although he did not regularly attend himself, he said it could help me. In my mind, it could not hurt, so I went. Over the following weeks, I went alone again and again. Each week the Pastor would talk about the love of God and the great lengths that Jesus had gone to ensure that my eternity would be spent with Him in Heaven. But I already knew that, at least in my head. You see, as a young boy our mother would take my brother and I to church most weeks, sign us up for Vacation Bible School and church camps, yet the love of God was only knowledge to me. That is why at age 16, I left the church and began my journey of making my own way in the world.
So here it was, years later, I sat in church listening to the worship band and watched the words on the screen. God, knowing the impact that music has on me, spoke to me. The lyrics that day were from a Matt Redman song entitled Heart of Worship.
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you,
All about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about you,
It’s all about you, Jesus
It was at that moment that the power of the Gospel message that I had heard my entire life, left my head and pierced my heart forever. The life that I had been living was a life without God, and it was all about me and what I had made of my life. In an instant, I saw my sin for what it was, disobedience. Now broken even further than I thought possible, I confessed my sin as I sang along with the band, “I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it, when it’s all about you.” God heard me, and through the sacrifice of Jesus, forgave and saved me from myself. I now live in the power of a changed life, a life that once was distant from God, but now is drawn in by the realization of His grace, and relentless pursuit of me and the entire human race.
Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”