I knew God was real. I knew I was a different person. I knew something very wonderful had taken place in my life and I would never be the same again … but …
How could I explain it to the girls at work? For a couple of days I kept my distance, but the change in me was so obvious that they twigged that something had happened. They asked questions and I tried to answer but they didn’t understand. I could see myself becoming an object of ridicule as Wally had been for years. Well, I could handle that: hadn’t I been just that for most of my life?
That Tuesday, when I left work, there were two priests waiting for me at my car. No doubt Jean and Paula had told them the news. Only a Catholic would understand the situation and how apprehensive and intimidated I felt. They threw a whole lot of Catholic teaching at me and I had no answer. I was upset and disappointed in myself.
Pat met with some of the young people at the Church in the afternoons for Bible study and prayer. I went there. I told them what had happened and Pat offered to be there after work in case they came again and then he would answer them. I didn’t quite like that idea. I thought I should be able to stand up to them and give them a satisfactory answer myself.
Pat said something which I don’t think many pastors would say to a new Christian. He challenged me. He asked me if God was real. He asked me if God cared about the situation. He asked me if I thought GOD could answer them and their accusations. Yes, I did believe, but HOW? How could God do that?
Pat challenged me to spend my lunch hour reading the Bible. He told me to pray before reading, and ask God to direct me to what passage HE wanted me to read, and then to bookmark that passage. I agreed, but I wasn’t sure that this was an answer. Pat showed me a verse in the Bible and told me to memorise it and claim it as a promise from God: “I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist” Luke 21:15
Next lunch time, I did as he had suggested. That afternoon, the two priests were there again. I felt apprehensive as I faced them. Could I stand up to them? Could I answer them? Would I be downcast again? Should I have allowed Pat to come and give me support?
They challenged me on a teaching of the Church. Now I understood how GOD could answer them. I pulled my little pocket Bible out of my pocket and opened it to the passage I had read that lunch time, and I asked them to explain how that God’s Word, the Bible, said something very different about what they had just said. They had no answer and left.
The same thing happened each afternoon. Each lunch time that week, God directed me to the passage in His Word which would answer their accusation against me that afternoon.
Is God real? Does God care? Can God answer? Yes, yes, yes! Those two priests had no reply to God’s Word. They could not explain why their teaching was different from God’s Word. They could not deny my personal experience with a living, loving God. They were no match for the God of heaven and they gave up.
I knew without any shadow of a doubt that it was no credit to me. It wasn’t my victory. It was all a work of God. HE directed me to a passage to be read. HE gave me the understanding of it. HE used it to defeat my adversaries. My God is a great God.
My very first Bible study that week was to prove to me just how great a God He is. He answered My deepest longing.