My Own Personal Miracle

Preface

Stories of miracles are often set aside by skeptics as subjective tales that can always be interpreted another way. So-called true stories are by nature subjective and if you are not personally affected by it in some way it will take a little… or a lot of faith to believe it.

This does not mean however that the story is not true. It means the reader doubts, does not believe or have faith they are true. Whatever your particular world-view it is very important that we approach life humbly. Various “holy” books, and especially the Bible often speak about the importance of humility on the part of human beings in order to see the world properly and to receive something from God. If you think you’ve got everything figured out and have nothing to learn, you will in fact learn nothing.

To one who lacks any fear of God or at least a belief in some “higher power” these stories can be (and usually are) discounted. If you are a skeptic, (and I consider myself a skeptic) you have to remain open-minded enough to realize you might be wrong. There may be things in life you do not (or refuse to) even consider.

You may not know me, but the story below happened to me and I cannot explain it apart from God intervening in my life. I pray that you the reader will read it with an open mind in the spirit of humility. Perhaps you’ll have another explanation for what happened to me. For me I choose to believe.

Stories of miracles are often set aside by skeptics as subjective tales that can always be interpreted another way. So-called true stories are by nature subjective and if you are not personally affected by it in some way it will take a little… or a lot of faith to believe it.

This does not mean however that the story is not true. It means the reader doubts, does not believe or have faith they are true. Whatever your particular world-view it is very important that we approach life humbly. Various “holy” books, and especially the Bible often speak about the importance of humility on the part of human beings in order to see the world properly and to receive something from God. If you think you’ve got everything figured out and have nothing to learn, you will in fact learn nothing.

To one who lacks any fear of God or at least a belief in some “higher power” these stories can be (and usually are) discounted. If you are a skeptic, (and I consider myself a skeptic) you have to remain open-minded enough to realize you might be wrong. There may be things in life you do not (or refuse to) even consider.

You may not know me, but the story below happened to me and I cannot explain it apart from God intervening in my life. I pray that you the reader will read it with an open mind in the spirit of humility. Perhaps you’ll have another explanation for what happened to me. For me I choose to believe.

What is Faith?

Hebrews 11.1 [i]says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (New International Version, 2015)

Faith is often defined by atheists and agnostics (even some so-called Christians) as believing in something without any evidence. This definition is false and really only the skin of the truth. It reveals a deep bias or ignorance of those defining it in this narrow way. Everyone exercises faith based on at least some evidence. We believe our parents and our children love us, even though we have no scientific proof. Even though we weren’t there we believe George Washington was the first president of the United States. We believe those things because of different types of evidence.

To most Christians, faith is a final leap to trust God AFTER you have looked at the evidence. There is plenty of evidence; historical, archeological, eyewitness testimony and anecdotal evidence. God does leave room for the doubter however and He has his reasons for that. I challenge you to seek out those answers. I have found that honest questions are a good thing. The answers you get may not always be the ones you expect however.

I do admit that sometimes a person will take a leap of faith without looking at much evidence at all because they are so desperate for help from God. Their lives may be completely upside down. Addictions, loss, or sickness in their life might have them crying out to anyone for help, including God. In my 30 plus years of following Christ however I have seen that people who came to Christ that way (with little regard for evidence) soon after will look for evidence so they can get inward confirmation they made the right decision. I’ve never known anyone myself who did not find it if they were looking for it. It should not surprise us that those who seek for truth will find it. The theme of “seeking” God is strongly woven throughout scripture and is one of His strongest promises.

Here are just a few of the many examples;

Lamentations 3.25 - The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;

Psalm 10.4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Psalm 53.2 God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.

Amos 5.4 This is what the Lord says to Israel: “Seek me and live;

Matt 6.33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Why does God require faith and seeking on our part? Why doesn’t He just show up and reveal Himself in giant light or ball of flame, leaving no doubt? First of all, He has revealed Himself many times but often our hearts are so prideful we refuse to see it. We place a burden of proof for God higher than we do for other spiritual or even historical beliefs we have. For instance, I believe my wife loves me and the proof I have is what she says, how she has acted (for 25 years) and the faithfulness she has demonstrated. These are the spiritual proofs I have! I know it to be true, yet I cannot prove it in a laboratory.

Thousands of scholars and authors throughout history have done a lot of justice to the actual historical, scientific evidences, eyewitness accounts (Biblical and non-Biblical) and philosophical arguments that are plentiful for believing in a creator. There are some people who have looked at them all and maintained their view that life is a great cosmic accident, but I dare say those are a tiny minority.

This story however is not an apologetic work like those works mentioned above. I am not writing this to convince you God exists. Others have done that and as I said their work is plentiful. This is just a short story of how God touched my life that I hope encourages you to seek Him in your life. You can choose to discount it of course. Free will is part of how we are made. Not all will believe. Even after great signs and wonders by Moses in Egypt and Jesus in Israel many people still refused to believe. Even at the end of all times the Scriptures give indication that some will still not believe. For now, in the time we live He requires a leap of faith, but I have can confidently say that He stands ready to prove Himself to those who will humbly seek.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

What about Feelings?

You may not like that word (feelings) when discussing evaluating evidence for something and frankly neither do I. Feelings come and go and if relied upon too much they can be downright dangerous. However if we realize the limitations of relying too much on feelings, we can cautiously use them as a part of how we interpret evidence. For instance if Almighty God were to communicate to a human being in a direct manner, emotions would understandably be powerfully affected. When we see someone’s emotions powerfully affected and a dramatic life change for no other apparent reason we can at least agree that something has happened. What that something is, is a matter for another discussion but we must as decent human beings at least hear them out.

If you have the courage and humility to pray and ask God to prove Himself to you (in a heartfelt honest plea) I can guarantee at some point in your life He will do it just for you. In my thirty years of experiencing the ups and downs of being a believer in Jesus I have learned a few things. One of them is that there are only a few prayers that God always answers with a yes. An honest prayer said in humility asking to reveal to you the truth is one of those He does answer in the affirmative, usually in ways we do not expect, occasionally with what could only be described as a miracle.

Author Eric Metaxis recently wrote an outstanding work called ‘Miracles, What They Are, Why They Happen, And How They Can Change Your Life’. This book (which I highly recommend) inspired me to write my own experience down. If this story sparks your interest, I recommend you pick up Eric’s book. He is a brilliant man and scholar who tackles some of the deepest questions as to the how, then the why and what of the subject.

If you personally are witness to, or have been affected directly by a miracle like I have, it takes a lot effort and self-denial to dismiss it. That is the case with me in the story I write here. I was there. When it happened I was alone and no one can corroborate it so you can dismiss it if you want, but I could not. The only evidence I can point to as proof is that others in my life saw me change a great deal. At a single point in my life something happened to me and I was transformed into a different type of person. I was never the same after this happened.

Not My First Rodeo

The story of 'My Personal Miracle' is actually about the second major miracle I became a part of or witness to. Part of the reason we call it a miracle is that it is rare. In my 52 years I have experienced only two times a genuine miracle that I know of. God has answered hundreds of my prayers but a miracle is not just an answered prayer. It has special qualities of a supernatural invasion into a circumstance and it changes everything. In order to give short background as to my state of mind going into this one I will give a brief synopsis of the first miracle I ever witnessed.

The first miraculous event I ever eye-witnessed was a complete physical healing of my newborn (premature) daughter just prior to my becoming a Christian. She (Sarah) was born around 8 weeks early with several serious ailments. The doctors said she would be hospitalized in intensive care for the first several months of her life and due to the seriousness of these issues it was also feared she might have lifelong health issues.

We were told that the right side of her brain was enlarged, her liver was not functioning properly and her lungs were filled with fluid. I was 19, my girlfriend 17. My girlfriend’s newly fanatical born-again parents decided to pray for Sarah and ask God to heal her. They laid their hands on her and called out to God with a new childlike faith. To their Joy (and my surprise) Sarah began to get remarkably better immediately. She was perfectly healthy in just a couple of days but because her diagnosis had been so severe, they kept her for about a week to make sure she was going to remain well. She has not had any major (and very few minor) health issues since (and she’s in her 30’s now). Could the doctors have been wrong when they said she would most likely be in intensive care for up to six months? Perhaps but not likely. I give the glory to God. I believe He had a plan for Sarah and our family. I believe He answered the child-like prayers of her grandparents.

To say this rocked my world at the age of 19 is an understatement. I was an unbeliever at the time but had heard the Gospel. After the healing of my daughter I surrendered my heart to God, accepted that Jesus died for me too and was enrolled in Bible College just a few months later. That day I went from feeling empty inside to sensing a call to the ministry. That is the very short version of that story. Perhaps I will write out the complete story someday. It has some really unbelievable twists leading up to and following the healing miracle.

The miracle story in this book however is about another encounter with God that I was the direct recipient of; One that affected me in an even deeper way than my daughter’s healing. This second experience occurred on Easter Sunday morning at the early hour of 2:00 A.M., 1989. What I would call ‘God’s presence’ visited me in an extremely powerful way that morning. No similar visitation, powerful sense of presence or overwhelming feeling had ever happened to me like that before or since.

New and Special Revelation

The background to this miracle story is one of deep heartache and pain. After the miracle birth of my first daughter at the age of nineteen I married her mom and we started a family. We had some difficult trials (mostly financial) and were very immature in many ways (as teen parents are) but we were grateful to God for healing our daughter. For the first time in our short lives we went to church regularly. We hungrily soaked up all the “Bible” teaching our church could dish out…and they dished out a lot. Although I was studying the Bible almost daily, the church we attended unfortunately was very much caught up in false doctrine. During the 1980’s parts of the Charismatic church were deeply into what was known as the “Word-Faith” movement.

These churches and Bible schools separated themselves from Orthodox Christianity proudly and felt they had a new revelation all those other dead denominations had missed. During this time period (and some still today) these “teachers” filled the TV airwaves and arenas around the country. They boldly proclaimed that all those seminaries, (they called them cemeteries) and past saints were all just dead men whose faith was often times questionable. Due to our unfamiliarity with the Bible, my new wife and I (and her parents) believed everything they taught. To say we were gullible at this point is an understatement.

The church taught (and their Bible College) with fervor that God wanted all his children healthy and wealthy at all times and anything else was not God’s will! I was so glad to be there during this time of new revelation. How could the church have missed this for 2000 years? Much to my surprise I was learning that I could make all the wealth I could dream of with God’s help, and I can dream of a lot of wealth.

I learned that I (not God) was in control of my circumstances and God Himself would do what I asked when I told Him to. They taught me God wanted us all to tell Him what to do…I am not exaggerating. Circumstances had to “obey” me when I spoke to them because as a child of God, God Himself had made me a “little god”. That is what was really taught...and I believed it. You can do your own research here if you do not believe me. Just do a simple internet search on the ‘Word Faith Movement’. All this teaching was couched in an excitement of getting a new and special revelation never heard before. I was energized with this feeling of blessing that I was chosen to live at a time where it was revealed! The feeling of personal power was intoxicating to a twenty-one year old skull full of mush.

The accumulation of wealth and achieving divine perfect health is all these false teachers focused on, and all I soaked up in many hours of daily “study” in their “Bible College.” While I worked (at the church) I had headphones on, listening to teaching tapes from various “anointed” teachers who reinforced this false and destructive doctrine.

There were no teachings of self-sacrifice, or dying to one’s own desires as Jesus and the Apostles actually taught. There were no studies of how God’s saints had suffered in the past. They sort of skipped that part, or they had a convoluted explanation of a “lack of faith” on the part of the Prophets and Saints in the scriptures. They taught that the Apostle Paul, the other Disciples and Job had suffered only because of their “lack of faith”!

All of the focus was on the little god (me) being able to control my world with faith-filled words. As a baby Christian I bought it all, hook line and sinker. Instead of growing to be more like Jesus I transformed into an obnoxious televangelist type, overbearing, judgmental and very prideful young man. To further compound the ridiculous, after just a year in that “college” I started teaching anyone who would listen, this destructively selfish doctrine.

Family Life

After two years of being married, my wife and I had another daughter (this time not a surprise). It seemed as though our little family was doing well and we were learning so much about how to be parents and control our circumstances with our faith-filled words. There was no limit to how much success we were going to have. I was a member of God’s success club. I gave no thought to the health of our marriage and to the needs of my wife. Why would I do that when all I had to do was “command it to line up with the Word of God?”

My poor wife had emotional needs (as most do) but more than that, when she was 12 years old her father had committed suicide leaving her emotionally scarred. I can only imagine how deeply this affected her soul. She did not talk about it much. In this atmosphere of the health and wealth gospel you are discouraged from expressing doubts or pain because that meant you did not possess enough faith to change your circumstances. So you lie and say you are healthy, wealthy and wise. They called it speaking into your circumstances or “positive confession”.

As all wives do, she needed a loving and supportive husband. This however was not something I was, nor did I have any clue how to be. I had my own issues as well of course. Besides my ever present very unhealthy desire for maximum wealth I still had many worldly views about sex and life in general. We both desperately needed orthodox Bible teaching and real counseling to have a good start to our marriage but were deep into a cult-like behavior, dismissing immediately any good counsel as an attack of the Devil. We stayed away from what were called “words of doubt”. Half of me was spouting religious ignorance while the other half acted like a very young man who didn’t know how to have or maintain a healthy relationship… and I thought I knew everything.

My poor wife began to warn me that she about had enough of me shortly after our second daughter was born. She even told me in no uncertain terms “I will not be married to preacher”. She knew that was what all I wanted to be, that was who I was becoming. All the while however I confessed all the positive sayings, quoted scriptures and projected my positive thoughts at her so she would see I was following God’s call. I didn’t think I needed to change at all. I was super-faith man and she needed to get with the program. In my heart I believed marriage is forever (I still do) and I knew I would never leave her so I never thought even for a moment that she was serious about leaving me….until she did.

No one in my "Word-Faith" church ever taught me how to know the true heart of Christ or how to love my wife and give myself up for her as Christ loved the church, as the Bible commands in Ephesians 5.25. Once in a blue moon they taught some good things, maybe even some actual truth but all I had heard for several years was how to change my circumstances with my positive words, to look in the face of circumstances and speak to them. I was learning the hard way just how empty this unchristian doctrine is.

The only thing I really wanted now (my wife and children) was slipping quickly away in spite of my so-called words of faith. To say that our separation devastated me is an understatement. I loved her, but did not know how to be a supportive husband. I was an arrogant jerk. I felt that I would have done anything to keep her but it was too late. She had long since made up her mind.

Almost overnight (to my thinking) I had lost the woman who I thought I would grow old with. I spent more nearly two years confessing, begging, and crying to my wife to stay with me. To add to my pain, my beautiful daughters who I read stories to every night and loved more than my own life were also now gone from my everyday life. This deepened my heartache to intolerable levels. My soul felt absolutely crushed. Even now as I write this (coming up on age 53) the scar from the memory of that pain is still sensitive. I cannot describe it except to say that it seemed to me to be worse than if someone close to me had died. Had it not been for those two little girls visiting me on weekends I would have probably at least attempted suicide…it hurt that much. I was a mess but occasionally did something I had not done in years…I actually asked God humbly to help me instead of telling Him (demanding) what I wanted from Him.

The loss of my family was the worst of it but it was not all of it. I had also been in business with my father-in-law for a couple of years and since his daughter was divorcing me I was also now suddenly without a job. I had also become the associate pastor and music minister of a small church in Aurora Colorado (I had no business being in that position)….and due to these circumstances I lost that too. I’ll remind you again that all the while these devastating events were happening I was confessing and truly believing I still had all circumstances under control. I knew deep down in my knower (as we used to say) that my words would change my circumstances to re-line up with God’s perfect will for me, but they did not.

At this point I had believed for nearly five years that bad things were at the very least temporary until you fixed it with your god powers, but reality was biting me in the behind. .

These ridiculous teachings were of course, a false belief (I believed lies). I believed in something that was counter to the truth. It was what I now call a blind faith, not real faith based in truth and evidence. I was trusting in something in spite of direct evidence to the contrary. There is no guarantee of riches and perfect health anywhere in the Bible this side of heaven. Verses here and there taken out of context can seem to prove any point if the hearer is gullible and ignorant.

The scriptures actually teach nearly opposite of what I had learned. They teach us that if you follow Jesus, you will suffer. Even the Apostle Paul suffered a physical ailment and when he prayed for relief, God’s answer did not include healing him. God said Job was the most righteous man on earth but he suffered mightily. These false-faith teachers claimed Job had a lack of faith and that’s why it happened. They directly contradict God’s own testimony about Job. Nearly all of Jesus disciples were murdered or banished to prison and it goes on and on. Christians throughout the last 2000 years have experienced persecution in many parts of the world.

I believe the Bible does teach that God can and sometimes does heal people and He financially provides but He does not guarantee a selfish prosperity like they were teaching us. He actually really only guarantees one thing; “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13. Sometimes healing or an unexpected financial prosperity can happen to a believer. We should pray and ask for it but most often the miracle we will experience is peace in the midst of trial. This truth is directly contradictory to what these Word-Faith preachers were peddling.

Reality Bites

In spite of my positive confessions the reality was that she left, took the kids and I was alone. For about two years I obsessed with winning her back but she had long since made up her mind. Even after she had moved in with another man I maintained hope and continued to confess that she would return to me. That is how brain-washed I was. It was not until she had a child with that man that I began to come to grips with the reality that no matter how much confessing and believing I did she was gone from my life as my spouse. In her mind she had given me years to change into something she could love but I only got worse, more self-centered, more egotistical and more out of touch with her needs in every way. If she had given me another chance I would have chalked it up to the success of my twisted doctrine and what the false teachers called the “God Kind of Faith”.

I did not however comprehend any of this…. yet.

I was borderline breakdown material for about two years. I did thankfully land a decent job that kept me very busy, paid well and kept me out of trouble. When I look back I can see that God was protecting me from myself but I did not see it then. When I was alone and not working or with my two precious little girls (now two and five years old) I was a deeply depressed. I had given up on everything except my relationship with my children. If someone crossed me in traffic or anywhere, I’d jump to fight in an instant, actually hoping to get into physical confrontation but each time it happened something intervened or the person would back down. I am sure I had a crazy look in my eyes, like someone with nothing to lose.

On the positive side, since she had given up her teen years to be a mom, my ex was reclaiming her lost youth and I got to spend almost as much time with my girls as I wanted. We even took a vacation to Disneyland, just the three of us. I focused on my job which require a lot of overtime and on my girls. I started to feel slightly better but at this point I believed any inner healing from the devastation I had experienced would take years.

Desperate Honest Prayer

This gets its own short chapter because it is a very important foundation to what would happen many months later. I believe the miracle I experienced was at least in part a direct result of this prayer.

I finally left the Word-Faith movement and abandoned most of what I believed, but I left with a prayer that I shouted in anger to God. I said to Him;

“God, I know Jesus died for me and you healed Sarah but I don’t know if the Bible is true and until you show me what I did wrong, I will not, cannot serve you. I did the best I could Lord, I believed in you and I lost everything so I will live as though you do not exist unless and until you show me what I did wrong.”

I repeated this prayer constantly month after month.

The Journey Back

As I said earlier after a long time of depression, anger and loneliness I had very slowly begun to feel just slightly better. I had even started to take my girls to a neighborhood church once in a while (just for them). I did not attend regularly and when I went I would drop them in Sunday school, then I would go to the main sanctuary and sit in the back.

This was a very large non-denominational suburban church. I noticed the preacher in this church however did not teach like the ones I had seen in my previous church (my only Christian experience to this point). He even talked occasionally about how there were many false teachers deceiving people, but I still didn’t get it. He appeared to be more scholarly, and he didn’t think he had some special revelation. Occasionally I’d even find myself enjoying the teaching but still I kept my promise to God to live like an unbeliever until He showed me what I did wrong.

In my mind I had thrown pretty much the whole thing out the window. I was living now as I had told God I would, like He did not exist. I partied, slept around and generally did whatever my flesh felt like doing. The partying and female company did nothing to make me feel better though. As you might expect, it made me feel worse. I often cried myself to sleep. I knew that I had been sincere in my faith and I just wanted to know, how, why and where did I blow it? The pain of losing my family still haunted me daily. I now had a smidgen of hope that I would one day be healed, maybe even find another wife some day but I knew it would take years of psychological counseling before I was ready for that. I was seriously messed up and I knew it.

What is Time to God?

It’s been said that “man makes plans and God laughs” and I can relate. I had plans to go to church Easter Sunday 1989 with my girls. I had plans to dress them up in cute dresses and make an appearance. There was no deep spiritual meaning to it, just seemed like a cool thing to do and they liked going to church.

I must also admit that I was going to church that day because I was meeting a girl there! I had mentioned it to her about my plans for going and she asked to come with me. So I had a date for church in the morning with someone I had already been sleeping with!. I went to bed with those much less than holy thoughts on my mind.

Suddenly at around 2:00 A.M. I woke from a sound sleep to a feeling or what some might call “a presence” in the room. I had never felt anything like this before. There was nothing visible, no bright light or audible voice only a pervasive, all-encompassing feeling (a knowing) that I was not alone and the person in the room with me was communicating to me in an overwhelmingly powerful way with no words spoken. It was so jarring that it took me a minute to realize that it was God, or Jesus or the Holy Spirit…I don’t know. This sense of presense was to a weighty degree I had never experienced and my mind was spinning. Was this real? Was I dreaming?

At this point in the story I must confess that it is nearly impossible to describe this experience with human words. I have rewritten this out and told story more many times but still there is nothing I can adequately compare it to or words that do it justice, but I will try.

It was as though I was getting a visit from my supernatural Father who loved me more than I could imagine (or describe) but at the same time He was also showing me, revealing to me (as my prayer had asked) what I had done wrong. The presence was so powerful and His holiness was so completely bone jarring that I slid off my bed and fell to the floor face down and shook with fear. The fear was not because I thought He was going to zap me, I somehow knew He was not going to do that, but because His presence was so Holy and perfect it made me suddenly very aware of how far from holy really was. I knew God was visiting me and I was afraid, but I felt loved at the same time….Like I said, it is hard to describe.

Suddenly my own sinfulness in graphic detail was being revealed to me in stages. I also now believe He was being somewhat gentle with me, revealing what I could handle a piece at a time. First I saw myself through my ex-wife’s eyes (figuratively). I was immediately sickened and began to weep. I saw clearly and completely how utterly selfish and perverse I had been. I now understood why she had so much trouble loving me. I instantly stopped blaming her, forgave her and dropped any bitterness I had been holding on to. I understood now why she could not stand to be around me. I don’t know how to describe this any better, but this was a revelation to me that shook me deeply. He allowed me to see myself as she saw me and to say I was humbled is an extreme understatement.

The presence of God in my room did not subside with this realization; He was apparently just getting started. I don’t remember it becoming more intense, but it did not slow down or let up either. I did feel like if it got more intense I would actually die. The next revelation was that I began to see how I was completely wrong about the nature of God and how I had been relating to Him. Just by spending what felt like a few minutes in His presence I was being changed, healed, fixed.

Never in a manufactured church service where people commanded God to come down on us or sing to Him “You are welcome here” or cry during a repetitive worship song had I experienced anything like this. This was Him, His Spirit moving on me in me in a supernatural way. Almost immediately I saw clearly how I had presumed so much and been so arrogant when I demanded Almighty God to obey my words “of faith”. I now saw how utterly ignorant and sinful I had been.

Imagine if you had been commanding Almighty God around like some cosmic vending machine and suddenly He shows up and you immediately realize just how wrong you are and how much trouble you are in. How would that affect your emotions? From these first two revelations (actually hundreds of revelations) I went from arrogant to humble in almost an instant. I continued to lay prone on the floor of my bedroom and cry deep tears of repentance. I knew I would never presume on Him again, what a fool I had been.

The visitation (or whatever you want to call it) continued for quite a while (though it seemed like only a few minutes). Through it all I began to understand the depths of His love for me, and not just for me, for all of us. Up until this point I figured I was headed to hell. I had renounced Him, said His word was not true, taught others horribly wrong things about God, misrepresented Him (a most serious sin in God’s eyes) and then committed sexual sin and rebellion.

As with all the other things I had previously believed about God, I was wrong. Just His presence made me understand (no words were spoken) that He had been watching over me since I was a child and that in spite of my outright and flagrant sin I was once again forgiven. I suddenly knew it was He who had called me to Himself and He would carry me on through to the day of Christ Jesus (Phil.1.6). I now had no doubt that I was under His care, I was adopted into His family and He would never let me go. It did not lessen the seriousness of my sin, on the contrary it brought it into the light. I knew now that although I might run away as long as I was alive He would run after me, pursue me. As a lost sheep, my shepherd came to find me. He found me twisted up in the brambles and stuck in the mud. He pulled me out, tended my wounds and cleaned me off.

I apologize if I repeat myself but the love I felt during this visitation miracle is beyond words. All these things I describe and more were revealed to me in this visitation, this revelation of Himself to me. He answered my honest (but ignorant) prayer to “show me what I did wrong”.

Side Note

Leap of Faith Analogies Fail

I realize that everyone is different and this story may connect with you or it may not. Perhaps you were raised in church and never doubted but you have never had any supernatural experience with God. Perhaps you have given mental ascent to the truths of the Bible yet you still lack a supernatural connection. Perhaps you have come to some mental agreement that there is a God, and Jesus really did die on a cross but that's as far as you've taken it. If this is you, here is where this crazy story just may intersect with your life. I can boldly proclaim to you that you can have your own personal miracle; anyone can because Jesus is alive. You may recall something about a resurrection?

My initial description of a "leap of faith" combined with evidence falls way short of what it means to actually be a follower of Christ (a Christian). The Christian faith "leap" as I called it in the beginning of this story is radically described by Jesus as being "born again" or "born from above" in John chapter three (recommended reading). This also falls a bit short of a full description of what it is because there is a supernatural aspect to conversion. If you have not experienced it you may be missing the life He desires for you.

Sound radical? Well it is radical but it also takes humility. Usually what happens at first is you come to some amount of mental acknowledgement of the facts (Jesus died on a cross, rose from the dead, and claimed to be the savior, the Son of God) but you must also realize in your soul that you need Him. Your own sin separates you from a perfect Holy God no matter how good of a person you think you are today. If you are honest and humble about your condition, and you cannot be sure that He will not count your sin against you if you were standing before Him you may be missing the most important part of life on this earth. Many (even in the church) would not be able to say they know for sure when you put it in this way.

Being born from above is in fact a miracle and when it happens, you know it, God invades your space and you notice something is different. You however do have part to play... you must ask Him. First acknowledge your own sin to Him and (give some thought to that) ask for forgiveness. Tell Him (pray) you surrender to Christ for your own soul not just to get to Heaven when you die, but for your life now. Ask Him into your heart, tell Him you want to be born-again and ask to receive His Spirit.

When someone is born from above the Holy Spirit invades the heart in a new life changing way. Thoughts and feelings begin to change to be more like Christ and you notice that now you have a new power to live for God. It is truly the greatest miracle. If you have not done that, do it. If you are not sure...be sure.

The Aftermath

Back to the Story

Back to the Story

Eventually, the presence subsided in my room. I thought the whole thing took only a few minutes but when I looked at the clock it was after 6:00 A.M. and over four hours had gone by! It was nearly time to get up, fix breakfast for my girls and go to church…oh yes and meet my date!

The thought of going to church after what I experienced was both exciting and a bit overwhelming. The thought of meeting the girl I had been casually sleeping at church for Easter with felt very very wrong.

God was so real to me now I didn’t think I could hold myself together and it turned out I was pretty much right. I did go however, got my girls to Sunday school, met my date and tried to explain to her what had happened. She looked at me like I had lost my mind. I don’t remember what I said to her but after that day I never really saw her again. I felt bad that I had drawn her into my selfishness but I knew that the relationship was not one I was supposed to be in. I don't think she was a believer, just a nice lady I worked with and used for my own pleasure. Now everything had changed.

At the end of the service the church always invited people to the prayer room who had prayer needs or to give their lives to Jesus for the first time. When the service ended I excused myself and literally ran to the prayer room. To my joy my younger brother Chris was on prayer room duty that day but he looked at me with worry and a little confusion. I am sure I looked like a mess, no sleep, crying like a baby and blubbering on about some experience that had happened to me. I stayed for a while and praised God like I had never done, crying real tears of joy that God had done in 4 hours what I thought would take years of therapy. I don’t think my brother knew what to think. Perhaps he thought his brother had gone off the deep end. I wanted so badly to tell people what had happened, but no one really understood. This was my own personal miracle. I have since read and talked to others who have had very similar experiences, but that morning everyone around me had no idea what I had really been through.

What about you?

A Miracle is when God enters what we think is our very normal world and invades it, shattering expectations, revealing truth, healing the broken and changing hearts. Its effects advance His Kingdom in a myriad of ways. That Easter Sunday morning God invaded my world in spite of my arrogance and selfishness. Was I something special for Him to do this? No. I was a hard-headed immature young man with an overinflated ego and a deeply broken heart.

Is there a formula to get God to do a miracle? NO. There are no formulas; He does what He wants when He wants to who He wants. Will He do one for you? Perhaps He will and it does depend on the question you are asking. Are you asking for a healing or a financial miracle? It is His universe and He knows infinitely more than we do about all things. The answer could be yes, no, or wait. However if you are looking for a deeper relationship with Him, healing from past hurts and the opportunity to walk with Him in this life then yes He without question will help you with that. Will it be like my experience? I doubt it. No two people are alike, and from what I have seen no two experiences with God are alike. But if you are someone who has not yet experienced being "born from above" as I describe in the above chapter, He will do that miracle just for you and you will know it when it happens. If you once came to Him but have not been following Him lately, it is time to reach out and boldly ask for a miracle of your own.

I was very wrong for many years about almost every important thing in life, but still wanted to know the truth and I prayed. I was just barely humble enough to admit I could be wrong. Sometimes I prayed silently, sometimes I shouted, sometimes I cried. In short I asked Him a question and He answered it. It took a long time. I did not ask one time, in one particular way. I cried out to him every day with tears of a broken heart for over two years. I did not have strong faith. He did not respond because I was a great man of faith. He is a compassionate God. I was a mess. He just chose to do it and fix my broken heart. I certainly did not deserve it. None of that mattered to God and I will forever serve Him out of a grateful heart because of what He has done for and in me.

That was 1989, as I write this in 2015 I am still moved to tears as I remember it.

Life Continues

Several years after the separation divorce from my first wife I was remarried to a Godly woman who had two children. We each had been divorced from our spouses (hers was an abusive relationship) for a long while when we met and were both at a place where we were getting ready to surrender to God and be single for the rest of our lives!

So with each of our two children we married in 1991 and started a new family. Soon after we had a son of our own, and eventually adopted a foster child as well. We took care of medically handicapped foster children for four years, served together in children’s ministry for nearly 10 years to mention just a few examples of God using our lives. I’ve worked in full time ministry, and had regular jobs. I’ve had joy and more trials of heartache since that visitation but it is still a pivotal point in my life in understanding who God is and how much He loves us all.

NOTE: Although these miracles strengthened my faith when they happened, years later I seemed to always be expecting God to do something similar and I would forget my own responsibility to seek Him every day.

What I have learned is reading and memorizing scripture, prayer, solitude and fasting help the disciple to stay plugged into the vine of Jesus life and quiet the ever noisy body which always wants to control us. Don’t wait for a miracle, seek Him.

As recently as 2015 I have had some new experiences with God in these areas that I am currently writing about. The practice of Christian disciplines have transformed my life from typical evangelical “sin management” to a more alive, fruitful and abundant life again just like it was after the miracle of His visitation! I look forward to sharing this with you too.

Believing in Jesus is believing in miracles. Jesus life began with a miracle, He performed miracles and He rose from the dead. God invaded the earth to bring salvation and redemption to the entire human race. When you are born from above it is a miracle. Is it surprising that He is still willing to prove it to people who want to know? I hope this story has encouraged you.

Prologue

I hope you enjoyed this story.

If you are at all confused by the story you just read I recommend you do some further seeking. Pick up the Eric Metaxas Book on Miracles I mentioned and most of all read the Bible. Carefully and prayerfully choose a home church making sure it is not something that will steer you down the wrong path. Do your homework. In 2015 there are a lot of people in the United States who are unfamiliar with churches and religion and just like I was and they can be easily drawn into false and destructive teaching.

If you’ve never surrendered to God and believed in the death and resurrection of His Son for your own eternal soul, ask Him for the faith to believe it and surrender to Him. If you are confused ask Him to help. If you are seeking ASK Him to show you…..

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matt 7:7 Jesus said that.

Feel free to contact me if you have serious honest questions or are curious about God in a new way for you. If you want to argue however, argue with God not me, I am just bringing what I know to be the good news.

As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. Acts 4.20

In Christ,

Bob

New International Version. (2015). BibleGateway.com Web. Oct. 2015.

More by this Author


Comments 3 comments

Snakesmum profile image

Snakesmum 19 months ago from Victoria, Australia

Very interesting and well written story. I'm not able to say I believe as you believe, but it would be wonderful to have that kind of experience. Thanks for sharing.


Shades-of-truth profile image

Shades-of-truth 19 months ago from USA

Great read, Bob! Your story brought tears to my eyes - which is a rarity. I, too, have seen the mighty Hand of God in my life - many, many times.

Glad you shared this; it must not have been the easiest thing to write.


bobball profile image

bobball 17 months ago from Arvada, Colorado Author

Recently I have had some new experiences but more in the area of the Christian disciplines of solitude, fasting and prayer and I hope to write about it. Although these miracles strengthened my faith when they happened, years later I was always expecting God to do something similar and did not understand my own responsibility to seek Him daily.

What I have learned is reading scripture, prayer, solitude and fasting help us to stay plugged into the vine of Jesus life and quiet the ever noisy body which always wants to control us.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working