Let’s use the opportunity of #GivingTuesday to remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive – be it today or at any other time of the year.
Jesus is stronger than death.
It’s not easy to talk to you about these events, but I’d like to offer you some encouragement...
A few years ago, I was innocently going about my life, when a calamity that I hadn’t seen coming hit me head-on. My naivety was killed stone-dead at that very moment and my heart torn apart and pummelled senseless.
I began to be troubled by strange night-time experiences...
Sadness vs. Auderset
In the middle of the night, I was woken up by a feeling of deep distress. I was confronted by a sense of sadness so acute I could hardly bear it.
I was inconsolable...what was I to do? Watch a movie to take my mind off things? Bah, that’s like sticking a band-aid on a broken leg! (In any case, the image would be blurry, because of my tears); go for a walk? Pray some?
(Meh, I didn’t feel like it)...
In the end, I went down into the cellar and fell to my knees in the dim light cast by a bare light-bulb.
In floods of tears, I cried out to God, pouring my heart out, pleading for Him to do something.
After about an hour, a real joy, which seemed to have come straight out of Heaven, surged through me. I couldn’t explain why, my circumstances hadn’t changed a jot but I felt completely at peace (?!)
True joy doesn’t depend on what’s going on around us.
Destruction vs. Jesus
During another night, I was awakened by a nightmare, but unlike other bad dreams, this one stayed with me... It continued to torment me even when I was wide awake. I discovered a desire I’d never known before: the desire to harm myself (?!), it was awful (become a pastor, they said, it’ll be great, they said…)
I was being buffeted and battered by waves of endless anguish, when, in a moment of clarity, I said:
- In the name of Jesus-Christ, I tell you, go, spirit of destruction!!
Instantly, an otherworldly calm descended.
It was like none of this had ever happened...
Jesus is stronger than death.
The night of my healing
One week later, a very ordinary story reopened my wounds. At around two o’clock in the morning, I was in bed, pleading with God to heal me (a bit like Bartimaeus by the side of the road, except that I was sitting on a mattress), all this lasted about forty five minutes.
Suddenly, I had a vision:
I saw a miniature construction team lay out a layer of ointment over my wound, like putting down a deep-pile carpet. Then they covered it all up with a kind of cream-coloured balm (?!)
I felt tremendously relieved and immediately fell asleep again.
God hears us.
Ok, He hasn’t finished shaping me yet, but I belong to Him and I know that He looks after the things in His care.
Faced with misfortune, explanations don’t really cut it. What’s more, these things are beyond our understanding.
Let’s choose to trust that God is love and to believe that He isn’t fazed by anything.
Rather than trying to understand, let’s choose to learn and to love.
Where do you fit in?
To all those who are going to experience suffering (even if they don’t realize it yet): Cling to Jesus with all your might.
For either the storms of life will tear you away from Jesus for good, or they will bring you closer than ever to Him... And you need to choose which option you’ll take before the storm comes...
(just breaking the tension, it was starting to get a bit too heavy there for a while…)