I grew up in a Christian household. We went to church regularly, so I was frequently exposed to church culture. But in the early days of my journey of faith, a couple things happened that were not connected formally to “church”. I like to think of them, though, as seeds from which a strong oak would grow.
The first thing that happened was in the form of a gift. My
The second thing was an experience I’ll never forget. I was probably 9 or 10 years old at the time. Living out in the country, we had to take the trash to a dumpster that was about a half mile from our house. And between our house and the dumpster were wide-open fields. One night when Daddy and I were driving to the dumpster, I noticed that it was a really clear night, but I didn’t see the moon anywhere and the stars were hard to see. We emptied out the trash, climbed back into the car, and started heading back to the house.
All of a sudden, I noticed a light reflecting off the hood of the car and I wondered what was causing it. At that moment, I felt my upper body being pulled toward the windshield of the car, and I looked up in the sky. Up over the branch behind our house was a single cloud with a lighted silhouette of a Man standing with outstretched arms. I wanted so badly to tell Daddy what I was looking at, but the words just wouldn’t come! I was speechless.
Then, I felt something pull my body back into the seat. I watched the reflection on the hood of the car fade away. When we got home, I ran out to our barn, found a piece of paper and a pencil, and made a quick sketch of what I’d just seen, so I wouldn’t forget. I kept the experience to myself for several days. I finally shared it with my parents, and they said, “
I knew right then and there that what I’d witnessed was Jesus letting me know that He exists. There have been countless times since then when my faith was questioned or I had doubts, but I always go back to what I saw that night. It reminds me that I have no reason to doubt that I serve a living God.
These two things anchored me in God at a young age. I believed that God existed because I’d seen Him in the stories, and then I’d seen Him in the sky.
*An excerpt from Josh Turner’s book, Man Stuff: Thoughts on Faith, Family, and Fatherhood (p. 58)
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