If I decided on something it just sort of happened. From the outside looking in people might not have seen that about me because I kind of made it a point to stay in the middle of the pack where I was comfortable and didn’t excel in any given area. That seemed safer than risking sticking out by being exceptional even though when I really wanted to do something I always seemed to be able to accomplish it simply by deciding.
I had tested that enough to really believe it was true. So it rocked my world a bit when I ran into something that I couldn’t just do because I decided to.
It’s a long story, but I started drinking and partying in college and eventually got to the point where alcohol was having a negative impact on my life.
So one day I decided I would quit drinking. I figured like everything else in my life up to that point, once I decided to do quit, it would just happen. It was a shocker when I realized that for some reason I couldn’t just quit. I genuinely tried. I even checked myself into an inpatient rehab program.
It didn’t take.
They told me that I needed a “higher power” to quit drinking. That part made sense. I had already experienced not being able to do it on my own.
But they lost me when they said I could pick any higher power I wanted – a coin, a chair, a potted plant. It didn’t matter just so long as it was outside myself.
That just seemed stupid to me. There was no way a random coin was going to keep me from drinking. So inevitably, and very quickly, I went right back to drinking just as much as before, if not more.
Sometime later a friend of mine told me about Jesus Christ. Now I knew a little bit about the Bible because I went to church growing up and saw the flannel-graph presentations of David and Goliath in Sunday school (anyone old enough to remember those?)
But somehow along the way it never sunk in that Jesus had conquered death so that I could have new life myself. Now this was a higher power that made sense to me.
And sure enough, after years of being unable to leave drinking behind the desire to drink alcohol was simply gone from me, effortlessly. Now, nearly 20 years later I still have no desire to drink because Jesus set me free of that bondage.
If that was the only change in my life it would be pretty significant evidence that God exists. But there’s a whole lot more too. Over the years as my mind has been renewed by spending time in scripture and changing the way I think I find myself changing in lots of other positive ways too. For example these days I’m much less interested in arguing with folks than I used to be.
Throughout most of my life I had a tendency to get into debates with folks and I had this constant need to convince other people that I was right. About most everything. But as I’ve become more secure in who I am I have less and less of a need to do that.
As a result pretty much every relationship I have across the board has improved, many significantly.
In the last few years as I’ve learned that Jesus paid the price to redeem the messes in every part of our lives I’ve seen our family’s health improve and our finances as well.
I’ve seen the power of God work through me as I’ve prayed for people.
For example there was a guy at church who was having back pain and asked for prayer a few months ago. One of the folks there believed she heard God tell her one of his legs was shorter than the other and that was causing his pain. So we had him sit in a chair and extend both his legs while I held his feet as evenly as possible. Sure enough his left leg was a little more than a half inch shorter than his right.
So we prayed for him. As we were praying his left leg extended even to the right one right there in my hand. That’s pretty amazing in itself. But what was even more impressive is that I asked him a couple weeks ago how his back was doing and he said that pain hasn’t bothered him since that day.
There was another lady at school recently that several of us gathered around to pray for because she said she was having some back pain. I simply placed my hand on her shoulder and agreed with other folks who were speaking prayers of healing over her.
While that was going on I felt a little heat in my right hand that was on her shoulder and knew God was doing something, but I didn’t say anything about it. As we all finished praying, she said, “Chris did you feel that?”
Turns out I unknowingly placed my hand on exactly the place where her pain was. She felt that spot under my hand get warm too and by the time we stopped praying her pain was gone.
There’s no way I could make that sort of thing happen on my own. But Jesus told us that as believers we will lay hands on the sick and they will recover. (Mark 16:18)
There’s a ton more I could share on this topic. Anymore I encounter the goodness of God on a daily basis. And to me all this evidence of my own changed life is compelling confirmation that God exists.
This is the second in my series of articles about The Many Reasons I Believe God Exists.