For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. – Romans 8:15
For a young man by the name of Andy Nieman, the darkness in life had become complete. “I lived in a place of total darkness,” he later said. Given his life history up to that point, perhaps you and I would have felt the same way.
He grew up in a violent home with alcoholic parents. His earliest memory was that of waking up in a cold house during the winter. He was alone. He remembers screaming in panic because no one was there.
At age ten he was placed in a boarding school. For the next three years he endured abuse. By the time he left, he said, shame covered him “like a cloak.”
In the years that followed, Andy staggered through a haze of alcohol and drugs. He ended up on the streets of Vancouver. The sheer misery and loneliness of his life had now reached a point where he just wanted it to stop. On what he described as “one of the loneliest days of [his] life,” Andy purchased enough cocaine to give himself a fatal overdose.
Before he acted on it, however, something happened. Somewhere along the line, someone had told him about Jesus. And so in that moment, on that day, in the total darkness of his life, Andy simply prayed, “Help me, Jesus.” And Jesus did. An old friend of Andy’s came and carried him through that terrible day. Soon after, the message of God’s Word refreshed Andy in what Jesus Christ had done at the cross to embrace him and forgive him and wash him clean. And the darkness went away.
Today Andy Nieman serves as a Christian pastor, reaching out to those who are still in that “place of total darkness.” To pierce that darkness he has the light of Jesus Christ—the same light that can pierce your darkness too.