How better to convince someone who Jesus is than to show them the reality of what He has done in our own lives. I wouldn’t have a chance of matching wits with some of the scholars who have written numerous books on Jesus and the church. It is with heart and the painful experiences of life that I choose to stand toe to toe with those who make a mockery of the Bible and the life changing power of Christ.
It is with life experience that I can prove that “…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise….” (1 Corinthians 1:27) It isn’t a piece of paper hanging on a wall that qualifies me to stand up and demand change. It is the very scars of life that will transform the message of this book into a burning desire for a new way of thinking. My words were not merely written during intense thought and arduous study, but forged through many hours of sweat and tears. The following testimony is witness to the transforming power of Jesus:
Ah, the good life… or so I thought.
I came home from college after my first semester and married my high school sweetheart. Let’s jump ahead about ten years. I was still preaching, and my wife and I now have a daughter and great, well-paying jobs. We built a brand new home, and both of us drove nice vehicles. I guess we weren’t rich, but it sure felt like it to us. Things seemed all together lovely. Everyone with sense, however, knows that trouble starts brewing when life gets that comfortable.
What I’m about to tell you is for the glory of God. I have never publicly revealed it until now. In fact, I’ve met strong disapproval from old-school church people for even mentioning it in private conversations. I’ve been forbidden to talk about it by those in leadership. Sometimes people can give too much detail about their personal lives, even to the extent of giving the devil too much credit. This isn’t one of those times. I believe our testimony will give hope to everyone who reads this. In the tenth year of our marriage things began to fall apart. When I say fall apart, I mean we were divorced in a matter of six months. We were normal Christian people that just couldn’t pull it together. We had allowed the devil a space, and he took it from there. I’m not going to point fingers at anyone but him. He was the author of it all and will never be forgiven. I will spend the rest of my life making him pay.
I’m here to tell you that it can happen. We were textbook pillars of the church. I was preaching and she was singing in the choir. We had a beautiful family and great incomes, and then one day, it was all gone. I can tell you that we went through a very normal divorce: We hated each other just like all divorcing couples. I can tell you that this was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. I would spend many nights begging God to let me die. It was an unimaginable pain, and so dark that I couldn’t see any hope. It was during this time that I became mad at God and bitter. I decided that being a Christian had gotten me nothing but heartache and pain, so I turned my back and ran away.
For the next year, my life was a train wreck. I left a Christian counselor one day and decided that I was done. I went to the store and walked to the alcohol aisle. (Keep in mind that I had never drank or done anything like that in my whole life.) I picked out a bottle of vodka and went to a graveyard. I hadn’t eaten in days, I was a mess. I took a sip and realized that this stuff tasted like gasoline. It was so awful that I drank half the bottle in one big gulp. When I began to feel my limbs going numb, I used my cell phone to call for help. I then passed out, and was found face down in gravel. It was the worst day of my life. I could have died. God didn’t keep me alive that day so that I could keep this story to myself. He raised me up so that I could shine a light into the darkness of others.
A year went by after our divorce, and God worked a miracle. I don’t know how He did it, but He did. He’s God, and that’s enough for me. If you let Him, it will be enough for you, too. I’m not going to act like it was a quick fix because there was a lot of hurt and anger that both of us had to deal with. Nonetheless, my wife and I had a small ceremony; it was just the three of us and the minister. I’ve never seen my little daughter so happy.
The really cool thing is that God can and will do it. Believe me: If He can put our marriage back together, He can perform miracles for you.