The officials were ready to kick him out, but God had a different plan…

As a junior in high school, Luke Keller was ready to end his life.

The teen sufferedfrom depression, suicidal thoughts and separation-anxiety disorder. To top it off, his dad left him when he was only 10, his grandmother just died of cancer, and his grandfather was sent to prison.

With the whirlwind of negative circumstances and wavering mental health, Luke was at a breaking point.

He can pinpoint the exact day when the thoughts of suicide became so real that he was finally ready to kill himself.He just couldn’t take it anymore.

Lukejust got back from school and took a look at the chores list his mom left him. To clear his mind, he went out to cut the grass in hopes that the hum of the mower would calm his thoughts.

…But it didn’t have the effect that he had hoped.

With the urge to commit suicide still flooding his mind, Luke decided to finally reach out tosomebody he’d never talked to before:God.

He said, “God if you are real. If you are what people say you are, then tell me something because today Im going to end my life. I need you now if youre real.”

As Luke continued to make his way through his chores list, he heard God say, “I want you to follow me.” Taken aback by a voice he’d never heard before, Luke asked God to repeat himself if that was really Him. Again, the voice confirmed, “I want you to follow me.”

It was clear as day. And Luke dropped to his knees and wept at the realization that the Maker of the universe cared enough to answer his broken plea.

Luke told IJ Lift that the experience was unexplainable. It left him in “complete shock” after he went through an excruciating year that left him feeling death was his only way out. Instead, God showed him that He was the way out.

Suddenly, his thoughts of suicide, anxiety and depression were all gone. It’s like he was a new person. He didn’t recognize himself…and it was beautiful.

The only words that Luke could find were, “Thank you. Thank you.”

He repeated those wordsincessantly, as they were the only ones that his tongue could formulate.

Ever since that moment, Luke decided he wanted to show God gratitude in everything he didincluding the football field.

So after every touchdown his senior year, Lukewould bend a knee in the end zone and point hisfinger toward thesky to give God creditfor his accomplishment.

But not everyone approved of his touchdown routine. As his team headed into round 2 of the play-offs, Luke was told by the refs that if he did it again, he would be taken out of the game.

I was completely devastated, said Luke.What I play for is to glorify God. I decided I was just going to do it and if I got thrown out, then I got thrown out. I wouldnt even be here right now if it wasnt for God saving me.

But to encourage him at half-time, his sister slipped him a note that simply read: “Be patient and let God work.”

So that’s what he did.

When Luke scored the next touchdown, he didn’t point his finger up at God, but to his amazement,he turned around to see the 7,000 people in the stands doing the gesture for him.

Luke said, I felt like God said, Listen Luke, I told you Satan would come at you and I would separate it.

And hisstory still wasn’t over. Because of his amazing play, Luke was recruited to play for Morehead State University in Kentucky.

Atthe beginning of his sophomore season, he suffered a severe ankle injury that required surgery. But the doctor who operated on him, accidentally performed surgery on both of his ankles.

Luke laterbroke his wrist, which required another surgery, and he ended up contracting MRSA from an infection related to theprocedure.

Doctors told him he would probably never get to wear his uniform again.

Then6 weeks later, the doctor called with news that floored him:

He said, Hey, are you sitting down? Im thinking oh no, what else is going to come up, Luke says. He said, I just wanted to tell you that God has blessed you. Your blood work is perfect. Its completely back to normal.

Luke couldn’t believe his ears.

On October 10, 2015 Lukesuited up for his team, and as he made his way onto the field, he was taken back to that day he was mowing the lawn.His God showed up today, the same way He did then.

Amidst it all, Luke Keller has reached one final conclusion:

“I know God is real. Its the same feeling I had when I got saved while I was mowing my grass. Its the same feeling I had when the crowded showed their support that night and gave credit to God. Its the same feeling I had when I stepped back onto the field against Butler.

What he was looking for in suicide he actually found in His Saviorthe way out of the pain and into peace.

The same God who spoke to him them, is still looking out for him now. And He cares about the little thingsabout the gesture he wasn’t allowed to make without being penalized,the broken ankle, and the infection that could cost him his sports career. It may just be another old football game, but Luke knew God cared how big it was to him.

So He let himplayand Lukeplayed his heart out that night, once againfor the One who made it all possible.

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