Nigel – Could I know God?
Merthyr-born and Clydach-raised Nigel has a colourful past. By his late teens life was going just the way he wanted it to. He had no thought of God but he was soon to discover that God had plans for him.
‘I was a bit of a trouble-maker at school and after leaving Pontardawe Technical College at sixteen I worked as an apprentice at Smiths Industries (Tick Tock) in Ystradgynlais. However, I was made redundant in 1972 by which time I had become involved in the drug culture. Pop festivals and taking drugs became the norm, and so was the trafficking of drugs.
‘Life was going the way I wanted it to. I had plenty of money and was very philosophical. I thought if everyone just smoked dope, then the world would be a happier place and without wars. The aim was to turn the whole world on.
‘But then one day God dramatically began to turn my life around. As I was driving from London to Clydach I suddenly had a mental picture of three crosses in my head. Afterward, I had a growing sense that there must be a God. And I thought if there was a God, was it possible to know Him? I also became aware of a growing sense of my own sinfulness. This was not just because of the lifestyle I was living but sin was in me, in my heart, and was part of my nature.
‘I bought a Bible and began reading it. Within a few weeks I had the answer to my question and I came to know Jesus Christ as my Saviour. In John’s gospel in the Bible Jesus said “This is life eternal that they might know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” This became a reality to me – God was real, Christ was real, salvation and forgiveness were real! I knew God had forgiven my sin and I knew a wonderful sense of his peace and love for me.
‘I continued reading the Bible and just soaked it up like a sponge. But this was no mere intellectual or academic exercise. Maintaining this relationship with God and pursuing a growing knowledge of him became the most important thing in my life. This experience of God changed the whole direction of my life.
‘Now, at the age of fifty-nine, I am still pursuing the same goal – to know more of this great God that I met over thirty-seven years ago.’