During my medical studies, I did an internship at an inner ward in the University Hospital in Frankfurt. There I saw young people, not older than me, who were terminally ill. The helplessness of medicine in such incurable cases suddenly became clear to me. Even more frightening, however, was how these patients were on the verge of death and had no support or an answer to the question of the meaning of life. A young man kept reading Mickey Mouse books for distraction. I realized that I, too, had no answer to the meaning of human life.

The lectures gave me a deeper understanding of how sophisticated and complex the human body is. The development of a fertilized egg to adult humans, I found just awesome. The unimaginably complex interaction of various organs and control circuits gave me awe of human life. I found it all the more depressing that everything should end so meaninglessly in death. I was moved by the question: Does not this life have a higher purpose?
First, I asked those closest to me, my parents, relatives and school friends. They could not give me an answer. I thought old people needed to know an answer. When I talked to some older people, however, I realized that they were quite self-centered and also not prepared for death. This astonished and frightened me at the same time. I was at a loss.
In desperation, I prayed to a distant, impersonal God, "You must help me find a meaning for my life." Not long after, I met a student who believed in Jesus. She invited me to a gathering of Christians. My first impression of these people was that they had something wonderful that I neither knew nor had. A short time later, I attended another meeting. There I realized that God does not want to be a distant God, but has created us humans as vessels, which he wants to fill with himself. I heard that Jesus had died and risen for me, and how, by believing in Him, I could receive His wonderful life, a life that has overcome death. This seemed too easy and too wonderful. I further realized that the purpose of life is to receive Jesus and know Him as the Living One. As I listened to the words, I prayed inwardly to Jesus that his life should be my life. At that moment, I felt like a drowning man who had just been rescued by a lifebuoy. Inwardly, I felt a great joy and the firm certainty that I had found the answer to the meaning of life.

Susanne Gullans