Ever feel like there’s something from your life that’s missing? Like a certain truth you want to find? A truth that’s bigger and better than yourself? A truth that gives meaning and purpose to your life?
Hunter Gray felt this. He found himself in a lifestyle that had no meaning, but at the time, he was okay with it. Partying, not being of a sober mind, riding a rollercoaster of highs and lows, no planning, no routine, no specifically identified purpose. It all seemed fine… for a while.
It was fine until that lifestyle became this addictive thing that caused his life to become a series of thing he would like to do. It was fine until he realized he wasn’t utilizing his abilities or bringing anything good to the table. It was fine until he became desperate for truth.
At this point in time, Hunter had an obsession too. He was obsessed with studying different religions and philosophies, but anything besides Christianity. He was so desperate for that truth and meaning, but as soon as someone mentioned God, he said it was like red flags being thrown up. He just shut down. He felt as though he wouldn’t be heard - that he would only be told what to believe. So he kept denying the truth.
His mom came home from work one day and was unloading some groceries. Hunter started helping her when he noticed a small little book of John sitting on the counter. He asked her about it, and she explained that someone anonymously set it on her desk at work. Hunter grabbed it and put it in his backpack.
Later on, he picked it up and began reading.
“I could not put the book down. I started learning about Jesus and began realizing that I didn’t have a reason to deny Him any longer.”
Not having a positive meaning for himself and desperately desiring something bigger and better than himself, Hunter laid in bed one night unable to sleep. This had been a recurring thing, and he had become tired of this lack of meaning. He cried out to God.
“This can’t be all there is, and if it is, I need you to change it. If you’re real, please fix this for me.” This went on for about an hour before he fell asleep, having the first night of decent sleep he had had in a long time.
That night was a turning point for Hunter. Talking to God was like a breath of fresh air. More and more he really felt the presence of God in his life, and it felt as though a weight was being lifted off his shoulders. The conversation never stopped.
“I began arriving at a point where the truth of Christ was making a profound presence on me that it hadn’t before.”
Hunter was sitting in the car one day listening to “Where I Belong” by Building 429 when he had a thought. “I don’t think there is anything that could make me not believe. God is real. I really don’t think there’s anything… but if one of my parents died… that would be one thing that would make it hard to believe.”
Then he got some news… his dad was in a bad construction accident, and he didn’t make it.
His family was invited to a grief share group at Crosspoint Church. Hunter’s mom asked him to go, and from there, God started to do some work. The worship pastor came to their table and told Hunter he should audition for the worship band. Hunter then really started attending church, feeling the revival and movement of God for real. His relationship with Christ started becoming his new obsession.
A friend of Hunter’s dad was also in an accident after his dad had passed. This friend was rushed to the ER and had to re-learn how to move and speak. This guy had never really pursued Christ before, but as soon as he was able to speak, he called Hunter’s mom. He explained how he believed Hunter’s dad had saved his life during the accident, how he had numerous encounters with him through it all. This man’s life was changed as a result.
So what the devil intended for bad, God used for good. He turned darkness into light.
This incident caused Hunter to have a different obsession. A good obsession. He quit denying the truth that finally made him free, renewed, and refined.
“There was not one time where I ever felt angry at God. I knew that what had happened with my dad did not make God happy. That fact that I wasn’t angry with God really allowed me to lean into Him. I felt myself being changed, being reborn. God transformed me, restored me.”
“Early on when I was trying to fight this stuff, I thought I’d try to make up a story that is a better expression of real, unconditional love than what Jesus did. But I could not think of a better story than Jesus dying on the cross for us. ‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do,’ There is no greater expression of love.”
Now Hunter feels called to reach out to those that were just like him – those that want to deny Jesus and not accept that truth, but he doesn’t have to bring up conversations like these. People can see the light he radiates now. People see the changes within his life. People are drawn toward the light that Jesus has provided him. They want to know more. They want to shine too.
“I think there are little magic moments. The glow of what Christians offer when they’re actively pursuing God – it’s attractive and people wonder about it,” he said.
Hunter accepts that truth and love. It’s clearly visible that he shines a light that is seen by those around him. You can accept that truth too. You can feel that love. You can have meaning and purpose. You are capable of radiating that light.
Let God move in your life. Cry out to Him. Pursue Him. Let Him renew and restore your spirit.
Hunter’s best piece of advice: We’re all broken and messed up and imperfect. But don’t forget that you can believe in something bigger and better than yourself. If you can open yourself up to believing in that, there’s endless possibilities because now you see the world and other people for what they could be, instead of only what is. And for me, Christ represents the best example of that, and there is no one and nothing greater to have faith in.