HOW IT ALL BEGAN
It all started when I was in my College, I was a Hindu and I believed that all God’s from different religion are the same and they are good friends. And so I went to holy places of every religion and bowed my head to them.
One day as I was about to give a regular visit to the nearby Catholic Church(which was my daily routine, to visit every temple of God, right from my childhood, since it was taught by my parents) I met my school friend after a long time. He had given his life to the Lord and had got baptized. When my friend heard that I was going to the Catholic Church, he immediately answered that idol worship was wrong and that it was against the word of God and there was no God in those idols. He definitely had the Grace of God because of which he escaped from being beaten up by me. But at that moment I decided that it was the last time I would see him and I politely wished him goodbye and went on my to the Catholic Church. But at that time I didn’t realize that “it had begun”. Those words of my friend were stored in my heart and they always used come in between my regular routine.
I was blessed with great parents who loved me and kept me from the wickedness of the world and they wanted me to become a great man. Years went by and I started working for an international Company and was trying to become all that my parents wanted me to be.
MY MOTHER’S SICKNESS
I am the youngest in my Family which includes my 2 brothers and 4 sisters who are all married and stay separately. And there was a time when my mother was not feeling healthy and all of a sudden had a fits attack due to which she had to be hospitalized immediately. My entire household was in a state of panic and we just hoped that mom would get well at the earliest. The medical report said that my mom had become very weak - physically and mentally - because of the attack. She had to remain in the ICU for almost 2 months and when her condition did not improve, she was discharged and advised bed rest and required extreme care.
As for me I was the apple of my mother’s eye and saw the world through her eyes all my life. Also, having never seen her in that condition, deep inside I was so weak that I wanted to die if something happened to my mother because I didn’t want to live without my mother.
My mother was brought home and she was on bed rest and she didn’t recognize anyone at all and she thought I was her neighbor’s son.
MY CATHOLIC FRIEND
All of my family tried to implement different kinds of therapies and medicines, but nothing worked. My family believed in all Gods, so we had my mother prayed from every saint of every religion, but my mother’s condition was only getting worse. Six months passed since she was discharged from the hospital and there was no improvement in her health. A couple of months later I happened to meet the first and only friend of mine in the Catholic Church, after a long time. At that time I didn’t even imagine that this person would become so important in my life.
This friend of mine was out of town for a couple of years after his graduation for some ministry as he explained, though I didn’t even understand a word of what it meant by being in the ministry, at that time. I was very glad to meet him again because he was loved by everyone in my family because of the way he was, had never seen him without the Bible in his hand. He was the hero of my parents and my mom and dad loved him like a son and wanted me to become like him. He used to come in those days with me to my house and meet Mom and Dad and pray in my house. My dad used to bring delicious sweets just for him so that whenever he comes he would enjoy the food in our house. My mother used to tell us that she used to see God in Him.
THAT STILL SMALL VOICE
I told my Catholic friend about mom and was hoping that if he met mom she would be happy and might recognize him. My friend saw mom’s condition and we went out to talk and requested him to pray for mom to get well.
During our conversation I came to know that my friend had left the Catholic Church and became a born-again believer and started talking exactly like my school friend who offended me long time ago. I thought to myself “what timing!” But since he was my friend and my parents loved him, I respected his belief and told him to pray for mom. Then he said that he had started Sunday services in his study room with few believers and invited me for the service. But I could not go because the service was in the morning and I used to be with mom in the morning everyday as I did a night shift. So I told him how difficult it was to leave mom alone. My friend insisted that I come to Church and quoted a Scripture which broke me from inside at that moment and that scripture was in Matthew 10:37,38 and he said Jesus said that we should leave our father and mother and follow Him. I had no words to speak when he said that because I had disappointment everywhere concerning my mother and here I was trying to comfort myself but had an opposite response from the person who was loved by my family so much. I was shattered and I kept my thoughts to myself and wished goodbye to my friend and went on my way to home.
On the way home, I was thinking about that Scripture that my friend quoted and was very confused because I really respected and revered Jesus as my parents taught me and I couldn’t expect Jesus to say something like this. So I was about to break into tears, but before that I made up my mind and heart that I will look for that scripture in the Bible that I had, and if it turned out to be the same then I would leave Jesus. So I took the Bible that my friend gave me long ago and looked for that scripture and I found that my friend was not wrong in quoting that scripture and when I closed my Bible I heard that “still small voice” as it is described in the Bible in 1Kings19:12, and that voice said to me what that scripture meant. It said that “It means that you leave your mother and come to me and I will take care of her there, otherwise there is no Faith!” That voice was not only making sense to me but it was not a stranger’s voice. I knew that voice even though it was the first time I heard it - it was the voice that I couldn’t refuse to obey and in my heart I could feel that happiness and joy to do what that voice said. The ‘voice’, I understood later, was the ‘voice of Jesus Christ’ in my heart. But I was also aware of the natural circumstances.
So here I was on a Sunday morning, with a Bible in my hand and secretly about to leave my mom, who was sleeping, all alone. I was aware that she had earlier fallen from bed, when we were all at home, and had a terrible bleeding on her mouth. But I went to the Church and the moment the service finished my friend immediately told me to return home immediately to take care of mom. This started happening every week for almost a month and a half and nothing wrong happened during that time and my mom was safe.
SHE CALLED ME BY MY NAME
On one of the Sundays when I was just about to leave for the Church, for the first time after 9 months of being back from hospital, my mother called my name from the bed and when I asked if she needed anything, she said that she knew I was going to Church and then she said that once I left she would close the door by herself from inside. But I reminded her that she couldn’t get up and walk and I wasn’t going to Church because she was awake. But she insisted that I go to Church. I being shocked at what she said agreed but as I was wondering how she would get up, she took the support of my hand, rose from the bed and walked all the way to the door and closed it.
I happily went to the Church and while I was coming back home I realized that I had forgotten the most important thing while I went out of the house and that was my mother opening the door. I was scared that dad would never forgive me since he gave me strict instructions not to leave the house until he came. So I was worried and opened the window of the hall and called my mother and to my surprise I saw her walking and opening the door all by herself. Jesus had healed her even as I just kept obeying the Bible!
From that day she got better and better and became the same lively person and motivator of our family and happiness was restored in my house. My mom started walking, preparing food and took care of the entire house and was very happy everyday and I could literally see the joy in her.
But when I was alone one day outside I thought to myself, “that’s it” there was no more confusion and I fell in love with that “Voice, and I wanted to hear more of it. And one day I met my Church friend whom I started calling Pastor and asked him to baptize me, if that is what it took to see and know the person behind that “Still small voice” and He baptized me according to the Bible.
After baptism my I started experiencing my heavenly Father’s love in every little thing around me and I knew it was him loving me through unexpected people and showing me His favor.
But there came a time in my life when I was financially burdened by debts from banks, some during my mom’s hospitalization and some due to my casual decisions concerning the Credit card and loans. I didn’t know how to get out of it and finally there was a time when my debts started overtaking my salary and I found myself with no savings, no money in my hand and nothing for the house. I didn’t mention about my debts to my dad and never let the family remain without money. I managed to do this by borrowing from people. My dad who is a honest retired army man was working for reasonable salary at that time but he raised me like a prince without the shadow of poverty in my life. And I didn’t want him to know that I wasn’t making him proud.
There was this time when I found some of my friends claiming fake medical bills and travel bills of large amounts and getting the refund back to their salary very easily. I decided to do that but while I was making the decision to act on it I started feeling uneasy in my heart and decided to check with my Pastor about it and explain my financial situation to Him. My Pastor is one person who has the character of the heavenly Father in Him and when I told him about the situation He immediately said that it was a wrong decision and it was cheating my office to gain money through fake bills. I tried to explain my financial condition, and that if I did not put in the fake claims, my salary would have a major tax deduction and I would have nothing in my hand. My Pastor did not get affected by my explanation and said like the Father says in Deuteronomy 30:15 and told me that it was my choice whether I wanted to obey God and wait for Him to do something about the situation. I heard that voice of the Father when He said that and as usual decided to obey God.
But in the natural I didn’t have anything and I was getting into more and more debts and in the process of making everyone happy I was losing my joy. But I ensured that I never missed my loan payments no matter what the situation was.
One fine day my Banker called me and said they decided to reduce the remaining amount of one of my Loans (which was about Rs.67, 000) to Rs.30, 000. I was confused about why would they do something like that because I never wanted to have a settlement of my loan, just so that my Credit rating would not go bad. They then confirmed that because I was paying my loan regularly they decided to honor their faithful customers with an offer which would not affect their Credit Scoring at all. I was happy about it but I still didn’t have money at that time and I didn’t want to borrow any more money. And even at that time I got the same temptation around me when I saw my friends claiming fake bills, but this time I stayed strong and did even give it much thought. When I got the call from the Bank again to check if I was ready to make a one-time payment of Rs.30, 000, I said that I didn’t have so much of funds and I was fine paying the original amount of Rs.67,000 in installments. While there was no further word from the Bank, after a couple of months a person called me and said that God was asking Him give me Rs.40,000.00 and that he didn’t want me to give back the money to Him. I was a bit hesitant to accept but when He said that it was God who put it in His heart to give it to me as a gift, I decided to accept it and paid off one of my loans (out of the 2 loans) and was relieved from the burden to a large extent. Not long after that my dad told me that I didn’t have to give the money for house expenses due to a major hike given by the Govt. for all of the Central Government employees in India. Being a Central Got Employee, my dad got a very good amount. After a few weeks I got another call from the Bank with the same offer of paying off the amount as a one-time payment. During the conversation, the Banker revised his offer and lowered the amount to just Rs.22,000 also without any bad credit scoring. To my benefit, that was also the month when I had received my yearly bonus of Rs.10, 000. That still left me short of Rs.12, 000, however one of my Church brothers helped me with that money and that was the last time I borrowed money and with that I was out of every debt. It’s been 2 years since that time and I have a great salary today, and I am able to lend to many and not borrow from any, according to the Bible in Deuteronomy 15:6.
This was just a material part of the blessing but the most important deliverance in my life is that I now know my Father, because my Pastor taught me to talk to my Father and seek Him and love Him and be with Him. I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in my Church during a 3 days fasting and prayer and from then the Holy Spirit has been my closest friend. My Pastor put me into the hands of My Heavenly Father and I am enjoying His presence every day and all His promises are mine today.
My mother passed away in 2009 because of another fits attack but I am glad that she accepted Jesus just before her death and He saved her as it mentioned in the Bible in Acts 16:31. But when she passed way I was as strong as I’ve ever been in my life, comforting my family and taking care of my dad. My Family is proud of me today and I believe that they will also serve the Lord according to His faithful word.
All of my Heavenly Father’s promises are mine and I am blessed and highly favored. I have My Pastor who is also my Spiritual Father and the pastor of El Shaddai Tabernacle, my Church. I not only have my earthly family now, but also my heavenly family which is the church. And the greatest desire of my life is what King David in the Bible desired (read Psalm 27:4). I thank Jesus for giving me a much higher authority than what Adam had, through His sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, which has made me the heir in my Father’s Kingdom with Jesus my Lord. Amen.
Associate, International Bank.