A lonely walk home
I’ve always preferred clarity. I’m the kind of person that likes things to be explained as clearly as possible. I’m the kind of person that wishes God would write things in the sky rather than whisper in my ear…
It was the same before I became a Christian, and it took something special for God to convince me that He was real. You see, I was born and brought up in a Christian family, so putting my best clothes on and going to church every Sunday was just part of life. I enjoyed singing the songs and listening to the stories in Sunday School, but that was it. Then, as I grew older I began to realise that there was more to “being a Christian” than I thought. It was a personal relationship with God, and it didn’t matter that my parents were both Christians - I had to make the decision for myself.
I finally decided to go for it when I was 10, at a Christian event called “Spring Harvest” which happens every Easter in Butlins in Minehead. Unfortunately, for some strange reason which I cannot explain to this day, I was under the impression that, to become a Christian, I had to go to a big event with at least 2,000 people there and make the lonely walk to the front when the preacher asked if anyone wanted to become a Christian. This was a problem for me, because I was such a shy person. Needless to say, when the time came, I froze…
Giving God some lip
2 years later I was back in Minehead and more determined than ever. However, if I was going to make the lonely walk, I wanted assurance from God that He was real and that He loved me. The Wednesday meeting was a healing service, and I had been suffering with a dry lip for a long time. It always came on when I was stressed or nervous, and that week it was worse than ever. So, I asked God to heal me. That was the “writing in the sky” that I needed. I went to the meeting and was prayed for. I remember my lip burning a little, but no more. I went back to the chalet where my family was staying and got ready for bed. Just as I was going to my room, my Mum stopped me. She said “Tim, your lip’s better!” I went to the mirror to have a look. My lip was better, and I have never suffered from it since that day, 22 years ago.
Writing in the sky
The following night was the big one, when I would respond to the call and become a Christian. I was ready for it - God had written in the sky and I knew what I had to do. However, at the crucial moment my legs froze (again) and I missed the opportunity. I was so upset as I trudged back to the chalet. I asked God why it had happened. I was ready, but… Then I heard God speak to me. He said “I don’t care how you become a Christian. I want a relationship with you, just you.” So, that night as I lay in my bed in Butlins, I asked God to come into my life, and He did.
Completely and utterly loved
Has much changed? Well, I still need God to write in the sky from time to time, but I now know that I am loved, no matter what I do or say. God loves me completely, and He always will.
(Edtor note: Tim is one of our regular preachers at Malvern Life (and probably the youngest so far) and you can hear his sermons on our Podcast pages).