The Proof God has Given Me

High points (and a low point)

The New York Subway, best 24-hour transportation in the world! I knew people who thought you could cast a spell to make it stop where you wanted it to.
The New York Subway, best 24-hour transportation in the world! I knew people who thought you could cast a spell to make it stop where you wanted it to. | Source
Ah, the Maypole. I did one of these (not this one) while living in NYC. When you don't know what you really believe, things happen...
Ah, the Maypole. I did one of these (not this one) while living in NYC. When you don't know what you really believe, things happen... | Source
Pascack Bible Church, my first church home.
Pascack Bible Church, my first church home. | Source
C.S. Lewis, whose book "Mere Christianity" is considered one of the finest works of apologetics.
C.S. Lewis, whose book "Mere Christianity" is considered one of the finest works of apologetics. | Source
Keith Green, who often led large groups of people to experience the Holy Spirit.
Keith Green, who often led large groups of people to experience the Holy Spirit. | Source
"You have conceived."
"You have conceived." | Source
"Your son will be Adam and your daughter will be Ruth."
"Your son will be Adam and your daughter will be Ruth." | Source

A response to many questions about "why?"

As many people know, I post a lot on different forums, and in those postings I frequently refer to supernatural experiences I have been blessed with, both personally and vicariously. A lot of people accept it at face value (these people are usually fellow believers,) and a lot of people scoff out-of-hand. There are, however, many people who I talk to who, while they're not believers, and may not be prone to accepting someone's testimony on face value, they at least are interested in what someone has to say or are willing to listen politely.

Either that or I have a masochistic need to cement my reputation as a nut. And never be employed again. You be the judge.

Let me preface my Hub by stating that I did not grow up as a Christian. Many skeptics seem to assume that all Christians are ipso facto members of believing families and have been "indoctrinated" since birth (I don't think they all think this, but I've talked to and read people who have used almost those exact words.) When I was four years old, my parents divorced. My father, who as far as I know was not Christian when they divorced, became a Christian after his marriage to my stepmother. They attended church regularly, and when I was younger I attended church with him. But I did not live with him, my brother and I would visit him for summers and some alternating holidays. We sometimes enjoyed the church services, and sometimes the church community was even a very pleasant place to spend time. My father lived in a number of small towns because of his job with a company that constructed mines, and some of those towns were very, very small indeed.

However, don't get too satisfied with thinking that I've proved your point. My mother's family (and remember, I lived with my mother for a little more than three-fourths of the year) was a long line of free thinkers. I have often characterized that side of my family as "pedantic know-it-alls" and quite frankly I was no exception. My stepfather, who grew up catholic, did take us to mass a couple of times and it was interesting but held no attraction for me or my brother. For all practical purposes, I never attended church when I was with Mom, and after the age of sixteen Dad stopped requiring me to attend church with him, so I stopped.

So by the age of nineteen when I moved to New York City (which is a Hub in itself) I was firmly entrenched in my agnostic ways. It wasn't that I necessarily doubted or believed in God. I really didn't think about Him most of the time. Sure, I was like most people I knew in saying that Jesus was a great teacher, or a great moral man. I certainly hadn't read C.S. Lewis' assessment of this thinking in Mere Christianity and don't know that I would have thought much about it if I had. I was busy doing things that I would rather not go into the specifics of, they're not important to this story. It's only important to remember that I was so not Christian, if anything I was more of a nihilist, and definitely a pessimist.

But i knew a lot of people who were into witchcraft. Don't ask. I never dabbled myself, but I knew a lot of self-professed "neo-pagans" and a few actual wiccans. I personally thought they were all silly. I knew several who thought that if you cast a certain spell, you could get the subway to stop where you wanted it to. The fact is, subway trains are a uniform length, and the train operators are pretty well hipped on where to stop them. It didn't take a genius to figure out that if you stood in a certain spot on the platform, you would be right next to the door when it opened! (And you don't need to say it, I'll say it for you, "If you could figure it out, Chris, then you're right! It doesn't take a genius!") The point is, I didn't take it any more seriously than I did Christianity. I did, however, pride myself on keeping an open mind. In fact, although I can't produce the article for you, the New York Times used to have a piece consisting of snippets of conversation overheard around time and I made it in. I was working at the old Tower Records on Broadway and 14th, down in the the video store in the basement, and several of my coworkers told me they read in it, "I myself am not a witch but I try to keep an open mind." And they all said they knew it was me.

And that open mind was certainly put to the test. Yes, I met a girl. A very, very attractive girl, who for reasons that still mystify me thought I was also attractive. She was a Christian, and she was constantly hounding me to prove that my mind was truly as open as I claimed. She dared me to go to church. Now, I don't take dares and I doubt it would surprise anyone that I don't care if anyone thinks less of me or not for not taking them. But I took this one. I started going to church with her (Pascack Bible Church in Hillsdale, NJ, when Pastor Fred Beveridge was the senior pastor.) I don't know how many times I went before I felt it, but I certainly did. I can't even really describe what I was feeling, but I was feeling something, something that was prodding me. It took some time, but I finally figured it out, it was God prodding me to accept Jesus.

Now let me be clear, I didn't have supernatural experiences. In fact, among the more (pagan) spiritually oriented people I knew I was known as being especially resistant to such things. So I really did not have a background for what I was experiencing. But on that day in August, 1988, I accepted Christ in my life.

It was the first but it wasn't the last supernatural experience in my life. But let tell you upfront, I have never "heard voices." Many times when I say I've heard from God, that's the first thing that most people think and many of them say to me (whether because they're being sarcastic or because they're being sincere,) "Anyone who hears voices needs to get help. Please get psychological help." My wife has heard God's voice, but not the way most people think of. People who suffer schizophrenia sometimes do hear voices, and sometimes those voices tell the people to do things, and sometimes those things are horrible. But neither I nor anyone I know has ever had that experience.

My next truly supernatural experience came a couple of years later. As you've probably guessed, the woman I attended church with did become my wife. We had been married for about a year, and while reading the biography of Keith Green I experienced something that Keith did often, the presence of the Holy Spirit. It was the first of two times for me, and it's like a rush, a euphoria, like something I'd never experienced before. But it's also a feeling of peace, of knowing that God is truly there, in the room with you. I had never done drugs and I certainly wasn't much of a drinker, so I had no previous experience to compare this to. And, as I learned, neither had many other people. Although many people have claimed to experience the Holy Spirit, I didn't attend churches with large numbers of those people. Even other Christians can sometimes look at you funny if they haven't experience it themselves.

Those were the only really direct supernatural experiences for me, personally. My wife, however, had several experiences. A short run-down:

  • When she was a teenager, she was in an accident and her achilles tendon was severed. She should not be able to walk around without a crutch, but she can!
  • She heard a voice telling her, "Your son will be Adam and your daughter will be Ruth."
  • When she was pregnant with our first son, she heard a voice telling her, "You have conceived." This was weeks before he could show up on ultrasound, and at first she doubted it but it turned out to be true.
  • When she was pregnant with our second son (our middle child) we both wondered about what she had heard. But after staring at him in the hospital for three days wondering what to name him, we came up with the same name simultaneously.
  • One job I applied for when I was out of work, I was sure I would never get. But Lisa heard the voice say, "This is where your husband will work." And I got it!
  • We had carpet for years and desperately needed to get it up and put down solid flooring. We had even bought hard-wood flooring, but never had the time or the money. One day she cried out to God and asked Him for help with the flooring. She heard a voice say, "All right, but it's going to get worse before it gets better." A few days later our bathroom exploded, soaking a large part of the carpet and leaking down into the crawlspace. We spent over a month in a hotel, but we did get the flooring fixed as well as getting some problems with our air conditioning fixed.

There have also been many times when we needed help, and just when we needed it the most it arrived. Once or twice, I would probably agree that these were coincidence. But it's happened time and time again. I can't write them off as coincidence. God doesn't "talk" to me the way He does to some people, but He lets me know when His hand is in something.

My wife has Stage IV Cancer, and you might think that would test my faith. I haven't lost my faith in God, but it does serve to remind me that He does things in His time and His way. I can't always see the "why," but the "what," God's presence, is still as clear to me as ever.

I believe!



copyright (C) 2012 christopher w neal all rights reserved

Have you ever had a supernatural experience

  • Yes, I've felt presence of the unseen
  • No, I don't believe in such things
  • It's an interesting idea, but I've never had one myself
  • I think you're all nuts
See results without voting

Comments 31 comments

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

Thank you for sharing about how you came to Christ. That's not an easy thing to do.

I agree that there are not coincidences, but God-incidents.

I pray for you and your wife. God's timing is perfect when we trust in Him.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

BlossomSB -

Thank you so much and bless you.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Chris: I have never had experiences like this, but I did have a one supernatural experience, I call a miracle in, no I'm wrong make that two. Therefore I know they exist, I know they happen.

I could relate here the two personal experiences, but I'd be taking up too much of your comment space to do so.

About 50 years ago I came up with this saying. It applies to me and I'm sure it also applies to other.

"You don't have to be crazy to live in this world, but, at times, it sure helps."

How true it is too.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

Dave Matthews -

Thank you for your comment. I used to think that being crazy would help you in this world but I've kind of changed my mind. God is the God of order, not chaos, and it is just sometimes harder to see the order. But I can appreciate your point! Thanks!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

This is true: If someone has never "heard" the Holy Ghost, you can't describe it to them; and, if they have, you don't need to. You will "hear" it crystal clear, if it is ever the time for a warning, an instruction, a confirmation, etc., until then just be ready to act if that is what it calls for. This was a well-written Hub. Thanks for sharing. Your wife has been blest to know what she wanted or needed to know in times past, and will surely be receptive to such experiences now, if they are called for. I just prayed for her.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

Perspycacious -

Thank you so much for your comment and for reading my Hub! Yes my wife and I have both been blessed by the knowledge of God. Bless you!


Christinme profile image

Christinme 4 years ago

May you grow in the knowledge of the Christ within you.

I constantly commune with God thro the holy spirit within me. Do not fear but be blessed and push ( pray until something happens) for more . xx


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

Christinme -

Bless you and thank you for your comment and thank you for reading!


getitrite profile image

getitrite 4 years ago

Chris,

There is no way that your claims could be true, as there are too many different gods for anyone to conclude that your God, through His son Jesus Christ, was responsible for the perceived supernatural incidences in your life.

It's just wishful thinking...and that's it. Oh, and NUTS too!


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

getitrite -

A not unexpected reply. As has been said, "You can't please all the people..."


Christinme profile image

Christinme 4 years ago

Chris , may God bless you dearly as His obedient child.

I urge you and your precious wife to continue to yield to God because He so wants to reveal the treasure HE has to all who truly love HIM. I can totally relate to the experiences you are having with the Lord. It is a blessed but not an easy road. I can tell you that the closer to the TRUTH you get , many will come against you as satan does not want you to see the Truth of Jesus power and majesty. May I encourage you that whenever someone comes against you to get back to prayer . xxxx

I love you and your wife as brother and sister in Christ. xx


getitrite profile image

getitrite 4 years ago

Actually Chris, instead of stating that "you can't please all the people"...you should state that "you can't FOOL all of the people.

PROOF, Chris, PROOF!

Otherwise this is nothing at all but wishful thinking.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

getitrite -

I try not to argue in the forums and I really don't want to argue here. I have put forward the proof and why I consider it proof. I understand your viewpoint. Thank you for reading.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

Christinme -

Bless you, I understand what you're saying. Thank you for reading and commenting!


mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 4 years ago from The Shire

Chris, you and your wife are in my prayers. I understand exactly what you mean. The experience goes by many names, but Christians of many traditions down through the centuries have experienced it. It is an infilling, a new closeness with the Holy Spirit. I received a healing when I was a teen during such an experience -- a healing that was verified on my doctor's X-rays and that he absolutely had no explanation for. I will not suggest that God always heals during such a time of closeness -- my father died of ALS in spite of all my prayers -- but the joy of really experiencing that beauty is its own reward. I will never forget it. I'm glad that you have tasted that joy. Up and beautiful.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

mollyleadows -

Thank you so much and bless you! Yes, I believe God does heal, but not always, and not always the way we expect or desire. Thank you for reading and thanks for the votes!


JMcFarland profile image

JMcFarland 3 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

I've finally read all of this in depth. In the comments to getitride, you say that you put forward the proof and explained why you consider it proof. I don't see any such thing in this hub. You listed a few experiences, but didn't explain a)how you knew which god they were coming from b) how you know they were supernatural and not naturally explained c) why you consider these experiences proof at all.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 3 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

JMcFarland -

Fair enough. a) Having had exposure to other belief systems, the lack of experiences connected with those combined with the multiplicity of experiences exclusively connected to my Christian walk (both before and since becoming one) make it, if not 100% clear then certainly overwhelmingly likely, that it was the God of the Bible. b) In an absolute, laboratory repeatable way I can't, but again, the lack of these experiences before becoming a Christian (including the lack of interest in Christianity itself) and the number of experiences afterward, combined with my natural disinclination toward "spirituality" make it far more likely for the explanation to be supernatural. People have attempted to provide "natural" explanations and they almost always amount to "Chris is unbalanced." I'm open to something different. c) Again, the lack of anything comparable before and fairly large number of them after conversion seems to point to a pattern, if nothing else.


JMcFarland profile image

JMcFarland 3 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

With all due respect, Chris - you said that I didn't need to ask you questions about specifics in the forum because it was all layed out in your hub - it's not. I cannot critically examine your claims from a few brief sentences. I have no idea the history or the immediate influences on these experiences. I cannot comment on actions you took, reactions that you had or your current understanding without knowing the details. Thankfully, my major in college was not only theology, it was minored with psychology - specifically the psychology of religion. I look forward to learning more.

Your three answers above are a good start. They're hardly the end result if you TRULY want your claims to be critically examined by someone who has a lot of experience in not only seeing but really looking at some of these issues.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 3 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

Although I will express the caveat that in my experience, psychology means "psychologizing" (i.e. attempting to shoehorn my reactions into some predetermined psychological illness usually already assigned to me by the asker ) I still find it refreshing that someone seems willing to look at it in depth instead of already having judged the situation. Fire away.


JMcFarland profile image

JMcFarland 3 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

From your hub, it sounds like your first "supernatural" experience was a feeling that you got when in a christian church. Can you expand on that?


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 3 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

I haven't been ignoring your comment, it's just that thinking about my late wife has stirred up things I thought had settled down. This is not meant personally but I don't think the comments section of a hub is the right place to do this. I don't like to turn other people's hubs into forums either. Perhaps we should open up a forum for this.


JMcFarland profile image

JMcFarland 3 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

as you wish. Sorry its bringing up painful memories for you.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 3 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

Thank you.


youcanwin profile image

youcanwin 3 years ago

Interesting hub. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I was praying for a house and it was not possible for me to buy a flat. But unexpectedly, God opened ways and I bought a flat in the capital city. It is a miracle.


BuddiNsense profile image

BuddiNsense 3 years ago

Like you, I never had any supernatural experiences. But let me elaborate something that happened to a person whom I know and then something that happened to me. This person’s sister had some illness, according to doctors, which was incurable and was going to die soon. They tried everything and finally, as a last resort, went to see a saint (a local preacher). Miraculously the child survived and he along with his whole family converted to the religion of the saint and the religion of the saint, no not Christianity but Islam.

Now my experiences. My mother used to (years before) incubate eggs and usually only half of the eggs used to hatch and if ever 75% hatched she considered a miracle. Once during such an episode I was reading a self help book- ‘count your chickens before they hatch’ and a few days before the eggs hatched I told her that all the eggs will hatch. And when the eggs hatched, yes all of them hatched and that was the only time my mother got a 100% result for her effort. Then another time one of my Indian friend whose mother was trying to fix a match for her showed the photos of the would be bridegrooms sent to her by her mother and when I saw a photo I told her that that was her would be and she said she didn’t like that boy and was not going to marry him but somehow finally they got married.

I made this narration not to discredit your experiences but merely to point out something which I think is relevant. In the former case and your case both was thinking in terms of some specific god while in my case I was not thinking about any god. The first time when I prophesied I did only because I read the book and second time I simply felt like that. I had no thought about god then. Similar experiences happen to so many people and they attribute it various causes including the position of stars but when I thought about it was I really prophesying? As a person who regularly loses money in stock market now I know I was not. It is only that I am remembering that particular incidents where I was correct. I forget or misremember the incidents to make myself feel confident, see if I don’t feel confident how can I invest in stocks? There is a dictum in stock investing when selecting a stock advisor, the number of times the stock advisor was right alone does not matter one should also take into account the number of times he was not right while predicting change and the number of times he didn’t predict but change occurred in the market [or to make clearer, say the adviser correctly predicted some 5 stock market ups, but we should also find out the number of times he predicted up and nothing happened or went down and the number of times he didn’t predict but it went up].

When I think about it, if I attribute my experience to god, I can easily conclude it was because of god. But then what is the explanation for my wrong predictions? What is the explanation for the bad or miscalculations and failed hunches happened to otherwise good people? Shall we conclude that there was no god? Or shall conclude that god failed?

In your experience you concluded that it was god and in particular Christian god, why didn’t you conclude any other god? You were brought up in a Christian environment and your wife was a staunch Christian, so did that influenced your decision?

When I think about all these I feel that experiences neither prove nor disprove god.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 3 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

@BuddiNsense -

A) to say that I was brought up in a Christian environment is a pretty big assumption. I know that it fits nicely with your presuppositions but it's largely wrong. Like as in, wrong wrong wrong.

b) How does what you say track with what I said? You read a book and made a prediction. I did no such thing. Neither did my wife.

c) The Muslim angle is one I would be happy to discuss if you really want to. But in the past I've too often thought people really wanted to talk about something when what they wanted to do was make a point and move on, whether they had made it in fact or not. So like I said, if you're game, so am I.

d) Because far too many of these things (and others that I haven't chronicled here) happened within a Christian context and it's difficult to see why any other god would so eager to make me think I was in touch with God.


Christinme profile image

Christinme 3 years ago

Chris Neal, God bless you . I feel I was guided back to you by the Holy Spirit to lift you up and encourage you. Whatever happened to you is between you and God. No one has the right to judge , or cause you to doubt and certainly not to steal it from you. Stay strong in the Lord. I find is fascinating that people really believe that our God of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is not capable of supernatural things. The devil does try to fake, but it only fakes things that are real. For instance people only copy bank notes that are real, they would not try to make a three dollar bill as it would not be accepted. I truly believe your experince was from the Father as it leads you to believe in the Son. The roots of the devils work do not lead to Jesus but away from him.


BuddiNsense profile image

BuddiNsense 3 years ago

Chris

A) The supposition is only because you are talking about christianity only and because you said you went to a "church" not mosque. Am I wrong? Are you from a nation that is not predominantly christian, a nation that do not include christian stories in curriculum?

B) You gave several examples of prediction like your wife knowing about her getting pregnant and you getting job. I was stating that I too had similar experiences (one of course was after reading a book but the second I simply felt like that and that was not the only episodes) but I didn't made a conclusion that god was behind it. Why the difference?

C) Yes it was to make a point, he had a more striking experience that you, hadn't he? So whose experience is more valid? Any way there cannot be two gods, can be?

D) Again the two points I made, whether you are from a christian background and why a christian get a christian experience while a muslim get a muslim experience? And why another person had a similar experience but has nothing to do with god(I was not an atheist, I was merely not thinking about god then)?

No, not a game. I was merely trying to find out why you think god is like what a christian says, a tyrant and a liar who had no qualms in killing his own son but not like a "true god"?


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 3 years ago from Fishers, IN Author

I've said often that I don't believe in turning hubs into forums. I will answer you in a forum.


BuddiNsense profile image

BuddiNsense 3 years ago

No problem, you are the one who directed me to this hub and the forum we were discussing does not relate to this hub.

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