Drugs, Alcohol, Gangsta Rap -
And Where Is God?
Arthur Baricz, August 2007

Before, I never had a personal relationship with God. I knew He existed, for I had heard of Him as a kid at Sunday School; especially my parents talked to me about Him, since both are born again Christians and baptized. Yet I myself had never sensed God in my life. Very often, I asked myself, why do I exist or where do I came from and even more: where will I go to? Where does this world will go to? And how and where is God? I often made a lot of effort trying to grasp God and all these questions with my human mind, but I soon realized that human efforts are limited somehow. At that time, I didn't know that mind and faith are two different things and so I set up the rules for my life myself. I dedicated myself to the world, in search of fulfillment with all its nicely wrapped in lies.

At sixteen years of age I started taking drugs. All friendships that I had from my childhood on dissolved like ice in the sun and I met new people who were all taking drugs. At some point, I realized that I was trapped in a different world. My family worried a lot about me but were not able to bridge the gap toward me. When at that time, a 19-year-old friend of mine died after taking an overdose of heroin and other friends started taking heroin, I was deeply shaken. I decided to stop taking drugs and ended all connections to those people. I think I managed to get away from this drug world because my parents prayed a lot for me.

In the meantime, I had finished my education successfully and had also found a good job. I rented an appartment and bought a car. Though I didn't take any drugs anymore, I started partying and drinking quite a lot of alcohol with my new friends. During that time, my search for God and the meaning of life became more intensive. Simultaneously, I started identifying with Gangsta Rap (which is very violent) and it turned like into a religion for me. I thought to myself, "Because the world does not give you what you are searching for, you have to be the same as hard as they are and no-one should know about the questions of life that you are having inside."

I started bodybuilding and spent four to five evenings per week in exercizing. I became more and more arrogant and very selfish. Yet the more I developed into that direction the more empty I got inside and also my inner questions drilled more and more until completely unbearable. My search deepened the hurting so that in mid September 2005, I touched rock buttom. From that moment on, I didn't care for anything anymore for I had realized that nothing could make me happy. The result was a total fall into depression and I weeped a lot. I thought, "What's up with you, Arthur? You were so hard... Where is all this gone now that you had believed in so much?" For two weeks, I cried every day. I cried when I got out of bed. I cried on my way to work. I cried on my way back home. Eventually, I couldn't bear this any longer and screamed to God, "Please, God, take this off of me, for I can't take it anymore, please take all of this away from me!"

Two days later, I sat at mom's dinner table. She had switched on a Christian TV program and while I was eating, I heard a sermon by Werner Gitt, a German preacher who is also a scientist. At some point, I pricked up my ears, when I heard him saying, "And Jesus stood together with all people who were weeping at Lazarus' tomb. Jesus commanded to roll away the big tomb stone and a bad stench came out - yet Jesus called: Lazarus, come out! - And all atoms and particles that had already dissolved into air causing this stench, obeyed to Jesus and went all back to their place and Lazarus was alive again and stepped out of the tomb."

These words overwhelmed me and I thought, "Well, if there is someone who is being obeyed by even the atoms and death and life, it means that this is someone with ultimate might and power." I was deeply impressed by Jesus and wanted to belong to Him. For two more weeks, I listened to the preachings of Werner Gitt every noon and soaked all of his words up like a sponge. It was kind of very pleasant - yet in daily routine, I kept on being depressed.

One morning on my way to work, I heard a song in the car radio by Xavier Naidoo, a German Christian pop singer. Because of his soft and thoughtful song texts, I usually disliked this guy completely. Yet this morning, everything was different:

Maybe they don't listen, maybe they can't see,
Maybe they lack the sense, or they lose heart.
Forgive me my guilt, for as long as I see you,
I carry my sins, when I sleep and when I walk.

I don't want any of the promises that people give
and break again, this is how people are.
All that matters is the connection with you,
and it would be my end, if I lost this bond."

When I heard these words, I was touched in my deepest inner self, for I became aware that the singer was singing about ME. I was this someone carrying his sins day and night, for not having seen Jesus yet and this was a heavy burden. I had no connection with God, like the singer described it so well in his song. I pulled over and prayed to God - and all of a sudden, I felt this unknown yet strong healing power and a love that could not be described, a love I was always searching for. From this moment on, I got to know life again.

Everything that I knew until then became completely different, I was like reprogrammed and didn't recognize myself anymore. All the sins I had ever committed, uncoiled now in my mind like a movie and I felt a deep repentence inside of myself and asked the Lord to forgive me. Each day I got more and more happy and I felt an enormous love inside. I got my Bible out which I had been given by my parents on my 18th birthday and began reading it. I was fascinated by every single word and could not stop reading and pondering those words. I sensed a deep love for people, regardless if I knew them or not. I imagined how God would see them and how much He desired for them to be with Him. At every opportunity, I talked of God, for I felt this urge to testify of Him.

One day, I told my parents about my conversion. They were speechless...! In the meantime I know how long they had been praying for me and how much they worried about me - it must have been an ENORMOUS prayer hearing to them. Now nothing kept me at those parties and those so-called friends any longer. I threw the whole CD collection of this violent music away and began to completely change my life style. What a wonderful, liberating feeling!

I was blind to my sins and Jesus healed me. I was deaf to God's Word and Jesus healed me. I was hurting inside and Jesus healed me. Praise and honor be to you for your indefinite love and mercy for all eternity long, Amen.

In that same year, I walked by a stand of the Christmas market of the city where I live. They displayed a lot of books on Jesus and I just stood there like pegged and could not keep my eyes off of them. The woman vendor began telling me that Jesus Christ had died for all of our sins. I listened to her excitedly and soaked everything up and I was so fascinated of finding people in my own small town who also carried this loving power of Jesu inside! I took one of the little match boxes they had there that had the address of their church written on. And I decided to visit them. That was in March 2006! In that church service then, I was overwhelmed by all their songs of praise, prayers and the Word of God so much that I thought I was already in paradise!

Here you can read about how Arthur's mom spent all these years, told by herself.

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