I Dare You to Challenge God for a Miracle in Your Life!
I was pretty much raised in church, since the age of 7. When I was 25, I backslid from church, for many reasons. I was hurt by members of the church. The more I tried to understand God and why things were happening in the church, the more doubts and unanswered questions I had. This caused me to drift further and further from God. Many times, during the next 16 years, I tried to go back to church, but it seemed like every time we attempted, things would happen to remind me why I left in the first place.
I don’t want to dwell here on the particular reasons why I left my old church, but I do want to say that because of everything that happened, I developed major doubts about the even the existence of God. I started to think that maybe what I experienced was a lie. I mean, how could a loving God, who says that we have a choice to love Him or not, torment those who choose not to love Him? If someone were to do this in our society, we would put them in jail for this crime. Is it really a choice if we choose not to love Him and He tortures us when we choose not to love Him, by sending us to the Lake of Fire for eternity? During my backslidden years, I spoke to several ministers and friends in the church about my unanswered questions about the “choice” that God has given us, but none could answer to my satisfaction. Nothing ever made sense to me, so I continued turning away from God.
Through these years, my family was doing well. My wife and I had really good jobs, making nearly $100,000 a year. We had a nice, big house on a hill, new cars, motorcycle, and some money in our pockets. Suddenly, in 2002, it all came crashing down! My wife and I both lost our jobs the same year, within 3 months of each other! We hung on for as long as we could, but went through all of our savings and eventually lost the house, cars, motorcycle and everything! My wife is a pharmacy technician with about 15 years of experience, working for Blue Care Network and even U of M Hospital in Ann Arbor, but she couldn’t even get an interview for a possible pharmacy technician position, let alone a job. I am a graphic designer/network administrator with about 15 years of experience, as well, and worked for EDS, GM, Delco, Delphi, and other companies, but couldn’t get an interview, either. Finally, when we got to the bottom, and the only direction we could go was up, we turned to God. We asked Him to help us and I was able to get a job. It didn’t pay as much as my last job, but was within a few dollars an hour. So I took the job. At least it was a job.
It took my wife another year before she got a job. It wasn’t in her field, and it was half the pay, but it was a job. Now, with our financial situation at least afloat, we didn’t need God and stopped talking to Him. Slowly, things started getting bad. My boss was unbearable to work for. I also started getting sick on a regular basis, causing me to miss work, which caused my boss to make it even more difficult to work for. This is the type of person who doesn’t trust anyone and tells you that he doesn’t trust you. He even dug through my trash, while sitting next to me, to see what I had written down and thrown away! He would always come around the corner real fast and look at my monitor to see what I was doing. I was never treated like a grown-up, but a child. So I decided to start my own computer business and leave this job.
Since my wife was working, and I already had some customers, I decided to take the plunge. At first, things were going well, but then things got bad, and then worse. For nearly 3 months, I got hardly any computer jobs. I design websites and work on computers and networks, but the work just seemed to disappear. Eventually, we were pretty much living on my wife’s income, which just barely paid the rent, let alone any food, gas, utilities, etc. Things were looking hopeless. Finally, we got back to the place where there was nowhere else to turn, but God. So, with my tail between my legs, I turned to God and told Him that we are at the bottom again. I told Him that it seems like every time things fall apart, and there is nowhere else to turn, that I come crawling back to Him. I told Him that we have no food, we can’t pay the rent, we have no gas to get to work or get the kids to school (school is a half hour away from our house).
The heat was about to be turned off, my business phone was about to be disconnected, without which I couldn’t make any money. My landlord was upset that the rent was again 3 weeks behind, and we had nearly two weeks to go before my wife got paid. I didn’t know what to do, so I told God that if he got us out of this mess that I would serve Him. I told Him that I had to pay the rent within the next few days, and that I needed to feed my family and had no food. I told Him that if he fixed my immediate need and helped with the long-term need that I would know that He really existed and that he cared about me and my family. I also told Him that if he did this for me that I would be a witness for Him, that God does exactly what He says he will do and that all we have to do is ask and He will provide, even to a sinner/backslider like me, who has turned his back on God and gone back on his word so many times. God still loves us and cares about us. I told Him that I would tell everyone about what He did here, if He would get us out of this crisis. In fact, I challenged God to show me his glory and to impress me with a miracle so that my family and I could see that it HAD to be God who did this, that it could in no way be a coincidence that things just got better.
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