Not long ago I wrote a book that was in part comprised of the stories of what God had done in individual lives. There was a young man called back from the brink of suicide, – healed of his addictions to drugs and alcohol and porn. There was a Jewish man who experienced the almost palpable presence of Yeshua ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah. It changed his life. There was the miraculous rescue of a girl lost at sea and a young woman delivered from the complete paralysis of polio. There was more! Outside of that book there were many such miracles I have seen for myself. I have seen people that I’ve known for many years, barely able to walk with back pain, suddenly dancing. My own mother was healed of acute ovarian cancer. I have seen lives changed; – my own included. I have witnessed drunks and addicts delivered. Recently I have seen an infant with 3 holes in her heart and a defective valve delivered by prayer. Most importantly, I have seen God saving souls.
Through it all I could see a recurring theme: The unrelenting love of God and the restorative power of divine mercy. Individuals were called, a decision was made, and from that time forward God never let go of them, no matter how they might fail to live up to his holy standard. With few exceptions, what I witnessed was evidence of the imperfectability of man, and the continuing mercy of God. I must confess my own journey fit that same pattern. And in looking back on my life, I can see the hand of God, continually saving me, for what ultimate purpose I cannot yet know.
There was one night I was called by an inaudible voice I later knew to be God. “ Will you give your all to Me?” That was its wordless question. There was no mistaking its implication. He wanted everything. My life! More! And there was a sense that to answer yes, meant I could not be sure if I would live or die. The commitment asked for was a total giving of my very being. The first time that question came, I hesitated, – I could not answer yes. And the voice went away. At first I was relieved, then disappointed at my cowardice, that missed opportunity. And perhaps dimly I recall wanting it to call again. Yet hard as I would try, I could not conjure it. This was no servant of imagination that I could call up at whim.
Then one night His voice called again. This time I gave it my hesitant, – trembling, – determined – YES! And things were never the same. My spirit went somewhere I cannot describe. I was not prepared for what I experienced by my Catholic education, or all the scriptures I had read and heard in church as an altar boy. This was the God of the universe that led me somewhere where love and peace flowed over and through my very being. I could not see as we see, – so I cannot describe where I was in human terms. And the name Jesus was never spoken. I did not see my Savior. But I was certain of who it was and what it meant. It may have lasted mere seconds, or several years. I cannot say. This was an existence unfettered by time. But then I was back, to where I had never left and I knew in the innermost chambers of my soul, that Jesus was God, – and that I was His. And I got down on my knees and I worshipped him. And I prayed in my feeble way to the Creator of everything.
It has not been a straight and narrow road I have taken since. Too often I was lost in the attempt to ‘make it’ in the music business and the temptations of that lifestyle. But my God has never forgotten me. Even when I was getting everything wrong I was always aware of his presence in my life. That tenuous connection remained somehow intact through all the partying and rebellion until it could act as the lifeline that would bring me back. Ultimately I could not inure my conscience to His persistent calls. He led me to see the meaninglessness of the life I was living. I had to seek Him out. I had to know Him better. And He opened to me windows of grace that I could not imagine possible. I can really say that now I seek to do His will, to further his cause, because that cause is the very TRUTH. There is no other reality. I asked for wisdom and he gave me knowledge of Himself. And as dimly I may perceive or understand that knowledge, I know that it is a gift to be both treasured and shared. That is the call on all believers.
I had my excuses for the way that I was living, for the decisions I made. They all seemed so reasonable at the time. I had my justifications. What are yours? There is an ultimate reality that governs this whole universe. That reality is Yeshua, the Son of God. You cannot hide from Him forever. The Scriptures tell us that “EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11) You see, there is only Truth and it will be served. What is truth? Jesus answered that question when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) He is calling you now to serve that truth. Say yes!