CBN.com “Christmas was a bad time for me. The more joyous people got, the more depressed I became. I had no joy. In fact, that was the worst time of my life.”
At least Rod Thomas was alive. On Christmas Eve, he almost died in a car accident.
“I went out to get something to eat,” he recalls. “I had been smoking marijuana that day. As I pulled around the corner, I got to the intersection, and I don’t know what happened next. I must have passed out.
“I looked to my left, and there was a huge pick-up truck that had rammed my car. I look on this side, my right, and my car was wrapped around a telephone pole.”
Rod walked out of the hospital with nothing more than a small stitch above his eyebrow and some sore muscles. He says he knew God saved his life, but he had no idea why. Up until this point, his life was a mess. Nothing had ever worked out -- and he was clinically depressed.
He says, “I thought that once I finished college that everything would just be perfect, that life would be perfect, that I’d make good money, that I’d be able to buy a nice home and a nice car, all these things.”
He also thought his career was on track as a Detroit newspaper sports reporter—until the day he got fired.
“I had no idea who the heck I was,” he says. “I was just a shell of a man. I went from situation to situation, relationship to relationship and then the partying. It helped me to just erase the things that were going on in my life at the time.”
He continues, “Inside, I was feeling that things can not get any worse than they are right now. I wish that the heartache, the loneliness and the brokenness would just go away.”
His mom had been praying for him to turn to God for years.
“I avoided her. I rebelled against her, but I knew that she loved me,” he explains. “I knew that somehow, someway she was right. But I didn’t want to hear it.”
Yet in his darkest hour, Rod took a tiny step towards God. He picked up the gift his sister had given him -- a Gideon’s Bible. The words jumped off the page.
“It talks about [how] things will not always be good in life, but if you can hold on, you will be saved and that got me through that time. God gave me a nugget, something to hold onto, just not to lose hope,” he says. “I did not want to come to God if I wasn’t going to be serious about following Him. I did not want to be another hypocrite. I thought that you had to come to God correct. You had to come to God totally clean. Then He would accept you.”
At church, Rod learned that idea was a lie. He could come to Jesus Christ just as he was.
“I came to a place where I said, ‘OK, it’s time.’ When I made a confession that Jesus Christ was my savior, it was just an overwhelming sense of acceptance. God rescued me, wiped away all the mistakes. It was about who God is and who God says I am. That day I became His child. He allowed me to realize and to experience His love.”
He adds, “Once I stopped fighting and started to grasp the reality of who God was, that’s when He started changing my life. Jesus Christ paid the price for me… For me! And I’m nobody. I’m just a kid from the streets of Detroit. But He loves me, and He gave His life for me. That meant everything to me.”
Today, Rod has good friends. He’s back in the writing business and considers himself one of the genuinely merry ones this Christmas. He’s celebrating the one who gave Him understanding and true joy.
“Everything I am now, I owe to Him,” he says. “He’s given me life. He’s taken away death. He’s taken away despair. He’s given me purpose, and He’s given me hope.”
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