For forty years I was a non-believer. I believed in a higher being, but not a divine one. I did not believe in God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. I was not raised in a Christian household. My father explained Jesus to me as a radical hippie with a people pleasing personality who became a legend after His death.
So what happened decades later to change my mind?
My sister was visiting from out of town. She is one of the most avid believers in Christ that I have ever known. I was loosely discussing religion with her, mostly placating her with occasional nods and yeses.
When we went to bed that night, I did not have Christ on my mind. I’m sure I was busy with thoughts of my own comfort and gratification; however, during the night I became one of the luckiest people on Earth. Jesus came to me in a vision. It was not a dream. I was petrified. I knew I was not worthy of His presence. I was not worthy of Him; I was not worthy of anything. I hid from Him. I was scared that He would find me, and I would have to answer for my past sins and disbelief.
As I was hiding, Jesus calmly approached. I watched His sandals getting closer and closer until they stopped directly in front of me. He bent down and looked into my eyes. A sense of love and peace overtook me. I was no longer scared. I j wanted to please this Holy Man standing in front of me. He is everything. He is peace and love.
Jesus held out His hand and said, “ It’s okay. Follow me.” I started to come out when He told me I must remove my shoes. At first, I didn’t understand what He meant. Then it dawned on me. It wasn’t my shoes that were the issue. It was symbolic for coming to Jesus humbly. We must go unburdened and just as we are. Hiding any part of ourselves is not acceptable. We must go as openly and humbly as possible.
I have never faltered in my belief of Jesus and our Father, God, since then. I have been blessed with continued visions. Some are easy to explain, some are not, but my love and devotion have never slipped.
My message to anyone who will listen is to go with Christ. Go as you are. He loves you. No matter how much you may have disappointed yourself, you have not disappointed Jesus unless you refuse to go with Him. That’s not to say He is irritated with you. Not at all, but He is saddened when one of His children chooses to turn away from Him.
Before I became a Christian, I prided myself on my logical background and my conviction that Jesus and God were symbols of humanities needs. They were not thriving, dynamic rulers on high. I was a fool. Please don’t be one, too.
Why I’m Telling My Story
Have you ever been approached in Wal-Mart by someone unusual–a real talker–who keeps you trapped in the aisle for what seems like an eternity? It’s uncomfortable. You want to continue along your way. That happened to me yesterday.
I was reaching for a can of green beans when a random shopper turned to me and began talking about how poorly stocked the shelves were. I nodded politely, expecting him to lose interest and go away. He didn’t.
He continued talking, and it wasn’t long until he began telling me that he was a Christian. A strange feeling came over me. This random man was not talking to another random person in Wal-Mart. He was talking to me. He went on and on about Jesus and what He wanted from his people. I knew I was hearing something fantastic. So I just listened. I couldn’t get enough. The man explained how Jesus loves us; how He is there for us when we mess up; how He knows our hearts better than we do and understands that we will falter. Rick, the Wal-Mart guy, talked about how Christ doesn’t like it when his children become entangled in meaningless rituals. Jesus wants to have a free-flowing relationship with us. Rick warned, do not become a slave to ritual.
The man told me that I, and every Christ follower, have a purpose on this Earth. We are here to testify to anyone who will listen. We are given gifts by the Holy Spirit. We must use those gifts and spread the word of Jesus. Rick said that Jesus performs miracles every day. It’s just up to us to acknowledge those miracles trust Him. He also said God is building an army of believers–an army to go out and testify to the world about His love. Rick told me several times that Jesus is very much alive and moving upon this earth. We just have to open ourselves up to this and acknowledge and follow Him.
The meeting wasn’t random. It was a divine appointment. Jesus sent a messenger from Heaven to me in the form of a guy at Wal-Mart. I could have chosen to ignore Rick. I’m glad I didn’t.
Jesus works His miracles in so many different ways. Let’s be open to them. Let’s accept His gifts. Let’s follow Him.