When it comes to Christian apologetics, my logical side can really take over. The sheer number of facts supporting the Bible is so astounding to me that sometimes I neglect to impart the other side of the coin – experience. Revelation 12:11 tells us that the end times saints (followers of Christ) will overcome the enemy, the accuser of the brethren, “…by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” Very often, it is our testimonies of God’s faithfulness, of His working in our lives, answering our prayers, protecting us through trials and performing miracles on our behalf that can take someone from teetering on the edge of faith in Christ and propel them into His arms. I was recently reminded of this during a Sunday morning church service.
A couple of nights before, I was laying in bed struggling with some fear and anxiety that was preventing me from falling asleep. I prayed for deliverance, for God to help me to fully trust Him and prayed some scriptures over myself and my family. Eventually I fell asleep, but it was a restless night and I found myself awakened a couple of hours later. My husband woke up and we talked and prayed together and I felt quite a bit better the next day. Then, on Sunday morning, after praise and worship, our pastor came up to pray and started praying against fear and speaking one of the scriptures that I had prayed over myself that night. It may not sound like a lot, but it was so stunning to me that I had to check with my husband to make sure he hadn’t spoken with anyone from the church or asked for prayer for me. He had not. I sat there in church just so in awe of how much our Heavenly Father cares for each of us – how much He cared for me – that He would take the time to answer my specific prayers and comfort me in that way. Even the message that day, delivered by a guest speaker, spoke directly to my situation. God brought such peace to me that day that I am still amazed by it.
Over the last several weeks, I have been meditating on the many things God has done in my life that have shown me that He is who He says He is. While I have had what I feel is far more than my share of trials, I have also seen God work in some pretty amazing ways, some of which I would like to share with you.
One day in the first grade, I passed out in class. I can still remember coming back to consciousness and being very confused about what had happened. Unfortunately, it didn’t end there and I passed out many more times over the next couple of years. My parents tried many things, from following the advice of a Christian chiropractor who suggested getting me off of sugar to checking me into the hospital for testing. The EEG as a little girl was a little scary, but the cards and gifts I got from friends and family made up for it. They were never (to my knowledge) able to figure out what was going on. Over the next couple of years, I had frequent dizzy spells and passed out a couple of more times. Then, my dad gave me a notepad that his Christian boss had given him with Philippians 4:13 printed at the bottom of each page. He told me to pray that scripture – I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength – whenever I started feeling like I might pass out. I began to do that and God completely healed me.
When my husband (Matt) and I were dating in high school, I had gone up to Colorado Springs with him for a track meet. He was taking me home and we were using the time to study for a Bible college class we were taking together. We were traveling down a dirt road and hit some loose gravel on a curve and rolled his old 1980’s Plymouth. This was before everyone had cell phones and we were miles away from anything, but apart from being pretty shaken up, a scratch on his nose and some soreness in my wrist from bracing myself, we were perfectly fine. There is no doubt in my mind that He performed a miracle for us that day and that what the enemy meant for harm, God turned into a testimony. He certainly had His hand on us that day!
Years later, I was 6 months pregnant and involved in another car accident. Matt and I were youth pastors at my dad’s church at the time. I was at the church with our 2 year old (our oldest was playing at my parents’ house) preparing for youth group while Matt was still at work. As I was getting ready to head out to Pueblo West to pick up my little brother and his friend, my 2 brothers-in-law noticed something about my car that they thought they should look at. They suggested that I take my sister’s little Toyota Echo and leave my car there with them. I agreed and loaded Bethany’s car seat into my sister’s car and drove away. Fifteen minutes later, while waiting to turn left onto my parents’ street, I was rear-ended by a truck going 45-55 mph who didn’t see me before he reached down to pick something up off the floor. As you can imagine, the car was completely smashed, with the trunk pushed up to the front seat. It was nothing short of a miracle that both of my daughters (our unborn child as well as my 2 year old in the back seat) and I all came out unscathed. I had pain in my neck and back for awhile, but even that was healed after a local pastor at a multi-church event prayed for me.
These are 3 of the most significant events in my life where I saw God’s hand, but there have been many more, some just as miraculous, but too personal to write about here. This world is fallen and, until Jesus returns, will be a tumultuous place where we will face trials and heartache. However, when we belong to God, we will also see Him intervene mightily on our behalf throughout our lives.
God made us all different and while some, like me, will lean more on the evidence when telling people about Christ, others will lean more on their experience. The reality, however, is that we need both. With only our experiences, some will respond with doubts based on what they view as a lack of evidence and chalk our experience up to mere coincidence. However, if we rely on just the evidence, others will not see the real and present and loving Father that we know our God to be. Evidence combined with experience is the most powerful way that we can overcome the enemy and bring souls into God’s Kingdom. So, don’t neglect your story – it is God’s gift to you and He can use it to make a difference in the lives of others.Tags: apologetics, evangelism, go testify, hope, sharing faith, testimony, witnessing