Church Education Trust

Bobby Loney     T001.  "Finding Light in a dark corner."

                   As the editor of this web-site I want to share my spiritual journey with you. I was born in Northern Ireland in a small village in county Armagh. I had a very happy upbringing, the pleasures and enjoyment of village life were good. My early years were spent in a home where my mother was a Christian and my father a good and faithful husband. During the early years I was sent to Church and Sunday school and had a reasonable understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It was during my teenage years that I began to drift away from church, Christian teaching as well as Christian practice. On leaving school I worked in an engineering firm as a buyer and eventually moved into commercial sales which cultivated habits that were distructive to say the least. I loved my job, my sporting activities and the social scene and by the time I was twenty years of age I may well have been considered as a bit of a lost cause and yet God works in strange ways in all of our lives, giving to us the opportunity to experience his unconditional love.

The early seventies were immensely troubled years for us as a nation, few escaped the influence of terrorism in its many grotesque forms. Life was lived hoping that you would not be the next statistic in this cruel and evil war. Socially much of our time was spent in clubs and pubs, far from the sound of my Mother`s prayers. Often I would come home meeting my mother getting up in the morning. There were times that I had consummed so much alcholol that I simply had to sleep it off on the park bench.

Then one day my father took ill, while he had been ill for many years, this time it was serious. He was taken to hospital in Belfast where little could be done to help him. As we watched him deteriate physically day by day a hopelessness began to grow within. The realisation that my friend, my father was dying was not something that I could easily cope with. Some days earlier a pastor spoke to my father and one day that I was alone with him, my father asked me to do something for him.

He said to me, "I want you to go home and get down on your knees and thank God for what he has done for me today." In side I was angry, what sort of God would rob me of my father? Two day later my father died that was also my 21st birthday. For six months after his death I was consummed with anger towards God. I spent a great amount of my time drinking alcohol, running away from my father`s words to me.

But God works in strange ways, one night I was in a pub with my friends and we werenot discussing religious things and a verse of scripture came to my mind as if someone had wispered it into my ear. Obviously a Sunday school teacher had taught it to me years earlier, it had slipped into my subconscious mind but at a moment known to the Spirit of God he used it to challenge me. "Choose you this day whom you will serve."

On leaving my friends I returned home, went straight to my room and open the Bible at John 3:16 where it clearly states, "that god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."

That verse formed in my mind somewhat differently, "for God so loved Bobby that he gave ..." for the first time in my life I realised that Jesus had died for me personally. I can remember praying if this terrible emptiness in my life was the result of my dissobedience and sin that God would do three things for me, forgive me, give me assurance of my salvation and give to me purpose and meaning in my life. The last 37 years as a Christian is testimony that he fulfilled all of those three things in my life. He could do the same for you today.

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