Years ago, so many years ago that it seems more like a different life, I was living a good life. There was nothing I yearned for that I could not achieve. I had given up drinking a few years before and life was definitely all roses for me.
We had been blessed with a job that I excelled at, a home that was cramped but the roof did not leak and we had heat, and no worries. Money was not flowing in abundance, but we had enough to meet our needs and I worked a part time job to provide little extras for the kids. But, I have always been one that has lived my life with the belief that as long as we eat, are clothed against the elements and have a roof over our heads, the other things are all frosting on the cake.
My children attended a nearby church and my wife her church, but what did I need a church for, I had built my world for my family successfully all by myself and things were good with me working six days a week. I needed that seventh day for my rest, and how could I rest if I was in church?
Then, one day cracks started showing up in the foundation of my world, but I didn’t worry I just patched them up and moved on. While on the outside all was looking good, inside those cracks grew more and more until my whole world came crashing down on me. The rubble that fell from the heights buried me from the head to toe. I tried to dig my way out on my own but the more I tried, the worse the pain became.
I was finally at a point where I could not take it anymore. My head pounded twenty four hours a day; the weight of the rubble on my chest made it hard to breathe and no matter how deeply I inhaled I wasn’t getting any oxygen. I literally could not get out of bed.
After no one being able to diagnosis what was causing the pain. I reached a point where I could take it no more. After several weeks of being bed ridden, I rolled out of bed and pulled myself up into a kneeling position.
There, I bared myself to God and said “Lord, I cannot take this anymore. I cannot stand the pain, I cannot stand the suffocation, and I cannot stand being bedridden anymore. I know I cannot take my own life as it is a mortal sin so I beg you to please either take me home to you or lift this burden from me.”
I had done all I could and now could only wait for His response. As I started to pull myself back up in bed I found I could stand without effort. As I sat down on the bed the tightness in my chest was gone and I could breathe. As I lay back, the pain left my head and I heard a voice say “I never asked you to walk alone.”
As I lay in bed thinking about what had happened I fell asleep. It was the first sleep I had had in weeks. When I awoke it was all too clear; just like the twelve step program for alcoholics, the first two steps were to realize that we could not manage our lives and turned our lives over to God (old school steps) to help us. I had been living my life with it all about me.
We as humans cannot manage our lives and society on our own as evidenced by the events all around us every day. I was no different and by changing it from me doing what I thought best, to asking God for his help, I had given over my life to God to manage and He showed immediately how He can turn it around for us, if we only let Him.
The other thing I learned was all the years living my life my way because I thought I was too busy for Him, when I realized I needed Him, He was right there to save me.
It was the last time that I tried to manage the life I lead intertwined with my wife and children on my own. Now, I live our life with God, knowing without doubt He was walking beside us and looking over us.
After that day, every time an atheist has told me that I cannot prove God exists, I know in my soul and heart he does and I have all the proof I need as I respond “You cannot prove God does not exist” as I smile and walk away.