US Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas reveals there was a time when he withdrew from God and relied on his own wisdom.
Thomas spoke at Hillsdale College in Michigan on October 3 during the dedication of Christ Chapel.
"We have gathered here today, not just to admire this beautiful chapel, we are also here to dedicate it. To appropriately dedicate this chapel, it is worthwhile to reflect on the purposes for which we are here," he said.
Thomas appealed to those attending the ceremony about the importance of seeking God for guidance and how a church serves as the place to do that.
"It provides a sanctuary in which man can withdraw from the chaos of our world and seek a sacred stillness. God comes to us in stillness."
He explained that during his thirties, he suffered from hardship and felt that his life was hopeless.
"I was in the midst of one of the darkest periods of my life. I felt like I had nowhere to turn."
But he found solace in the church, where he was able to be one with God and pray for healing.
"Unlike the tumultuous world around me, the church building provided a place of peace, a sanctuary from the turmoils of my life," he said. "Within those walls, with God's help and grace, I was able to elevate my thoughts beyond my circumstances and self-absorption, and set my mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."
After releasing his burdens to God, he drew closer and found wisdom in His Word.
"God used those times of prayer and meditation to rekindle the flame of faith in my life. I am a changed man today and God began that transformation in a holy place, a sanctuary."
He spoke about the importance of attending church so people can be in a spiritual place to pray during life's difficulties and thank God for His faithfulness.
Thomas concluded his speech by restating that the church is more than a building but a place where people can enter for hope, prayer and to receive rest from their worries.
"The primary purpose of a chapel is to provide a place where man can enter the presence of God. Chapels provide that sacred space for stillness and an encounter with the Divine. Our deepest needs are met through God, who is near to the brokenhearted, the wretched and the lonely."