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> How Precious Did That Grace Appear, The hour I first believed
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 29-Jun-2004, 07:02 AM
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[COLOR=blue]I wanted to share this, and hopefully start a thread that will be answered by as many as have a story of their own. So please, if you remember the day you knew God was real, I would love to hear about it, and I'm sure others would as well. So here is mine.............................

It was the summer of 1978. My 13th birthday was getting closer by the minute, and those lazy days of summer were only interrupted by the work to be done on the farm, and the occasional soft ball game. I had been attending a small Methodist church for over a year with my Mother and siblings every Sunday, and most Wednesday nights. The attendence on my part was very much compulsory, but out of respect for my Mother I never made a fuss. I was somewhat negative over the whole "God is Love" idea. At the age of 3 months, my father was killed in a car accident, leaving behind me, my two older sisters, and my mother whose age at the time was only 25. At age 3, Mom remarried and in the academic sense of the word, I had a father. But he and mom had two children of their own, my younger brother and sister who I loved, and I was no longer his little boy. My brother took that position immediatly, and just as quickly, resentment set into my heart. So here at a very sensative age, I had quite a few questions over the reality of God. "God is love" I heard it many, many times. But how does a loving God allow his inocent children to be so hurt? How does he allow a child so deserving of a loving father to go for so long with a sense of emptiness? I had a belief problem. All my young life Mom had told me God was real, and I believed it because she would never lie. But that belief was no different than the belief a child might have in Santa Clause. There was nothing of substance for me to hold on to.

Since there were seven of us in one house, my brother and I had to share a bedroom, and one bed as well. He was a human radiator, emmitting more heat than a pot-belly stove. I kept my distance from him, and he did the same. One particular night, I lied in bed thinking of God. I prayed every night, but never really had a grasp on who or what I was praying to. Lying there I thought, "are you real?" For some unknown reason, I prayed to God "lord, if you are real, make my brother put his arm on my back" With absolutly no hesitation, my little 7 year old brother laid his arm right across my back. I had my answer! I had a sign! From that moment on, I never doubted the reality of God. I consider myself extremely blessed to have gotten to learn this way too. I know at 12 yrs old I had already had to endure quite a bit of suffering, but I also know that there are so many that have to hoe a much harder row than I to learn that God is real, and that he does indeed care about every single one of us.


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The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 29-Jun-2004, 07:47 AM
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Don't think there was ever any one day that I just woke up to the fact that God was real. It was more over time during my High School years that I started wondering, looking, and really seeing the evidence for myself that there was too much wonder in the world for God not to exist.


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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 29-Jun-2004, 08:55 AM
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SCShamrock, I liked that story! Thank you so much for sharing.

The problem of suffering is a tough one to understand: why bad things happen to the innocent, do tragedy & suffering mean God doesn't exist or care... its an issue I still ponder sometimes, and have tried to find some kind of explanation in the Bible. But thats a topic for another day!

I have been acutely aware of God since I was a child. I've always loved nature and animals... we had cats & dogs around from the time I was 3 and to my child's mind it seemed clear that there had to be SOMEbody who created these critters that were so delightful to watch & play with! At the age of 11 I became a Christian and over the next couple of years read the Bible through twice; as the more unpleasant realities of life began to hit me and I would question God's presence, both the calming presence of nature and my knowledge of what the Bible says about life would bring me back to Him.
For the last couple of years I've been studying the Bible very intensely and the more I read it the more it reassures me that even in this scary unpredictable world I can trust that God is present & in control!


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"All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king..."
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Ceciliastar1 
Posted: 29-Jun-2004, 01:50 PM
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Well, I've always known and believed. But right now I am lacking I guess you could say. I"m still waiting for my "Epiphany" I guess... I don't know. This is a tough topic to talk about.

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There's a dear little plant that grows in our Isle
Twas St . Patrick himself, sure, that set it;
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And with dew from his eye often wet it.
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Mireland, and they call it the dear little shamrock of Ireland.
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 30-Jun-2004, 03:30 AM
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QUOTE (Ceciliastar1 @ 29-Jun-2004, 01:50 PM)
Well, I've always known and believed. But right now I am lacking I guess you could say. I"m still waiting for my "Epiphany" I guess... I don't know. This is a tough topic to talk about.

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I understand what you mean. As I stated, I feel extremely blessed to have gotten the answer to my question the way I did. My prayer to God, although it seems a bit silly to me now, was in my young mind as fool-proof as anything imaginable seeing how my brother HATED any kind of contact while he slept. My prayer was to God, silent, personal. So it was to me quite profound.

Remember Ceceliastar1 the centurion, that Jesus told him if he would only believe, that his son would be healed. He then told Jesus, "I believe Lord, but help thou my unbelief" He was praying for his lack of faith to be reconciled. So in my estimation, along with a promise of "seek, and ye shall find" that your "epiphany" may be only a prayer away. But as you might already know, answer to prayer occurs on God's terms. He may answer you in ways you could not imagine. But I do believe you have to be open, and earnestly looking for His answers to your prayers. A prayer for God to reveal Himself to someone truly seeking would be right in His will. So just be ready when your answer comes.
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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 30-Jun-2004, 04:04 PM
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QUOTE (SCShamrock @ 30-Jun-2004, 03:30 AM)
Remember Ceceliastar1 the centurion, that Jesus told him if he would only believe, that his son would be healed. He then told Jesus, "I believe Lord, but help thou my unbelief" He was praying for his lack of faith to be reconciled.

Oh man, I think that poor guy must have been an ancestor of mine! I SO identify with what he said - 'I believe Lord, but help me with my unbelief' - that's got to be one of the most honest statements in the New Testament...

To me, his story shows us how belief is a choice - having faith is a deliberate action, not something that magically fills us with courage or knowledge. When I've gotten to the point that I say 'I believe but help me with my unbelief', its been when I could not see very far ahead... couldn't tell what was going to happen. I'm one of those folks who by nature likes plans and schedules and the familiar. I like to know the effort is worth it; that something will turn out a certain way if I do a certain thing.
And what does God do to me?
Give me a profession/obsession that is almost 100% unpredictable, and gives me specific things to do in life where I can not see how its going to end!

I think I've figured it out: He's trying to teach me to trust Him. And I think I'm actually beginning to learn to trust, to step out when its His direction leading me there...
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