It took more than one experience to bring me out of my deep spiritual darkness, kind of like when a sculptor has to first knock off huge chunks of rock from a bolder before he can begin to make it look like a statue.
Maybe a week or so after I had my experience with Lucifer and the white moths, here in Austin, I was in my tiny apartment. And in torment. Indecision or what the Bible calls “double mindedness” can kill you. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways”, (James 1:8). That was really how I was.
I’d gotten a Bible from my parents and also taken some time to really apologize to them for the hurt I’d caused them over the last few years. We weren’t close but at least this was the beginning of a long term reconciliation.
But I was very far from the person that God would have me to be. In fact, as so often happened, I was going back to my old thought patterns of unbelief and skepticism. Things like, “That didn’t really happen! That was all in your mind! You just imagined all that, just stray thoughts bouncing around inside your brain!” That’s what I’d always thought before and now that I was “back to normal”; that was still my default mode of thought on all these things. But then another series of thoughts were there. “It sure did seem real. It was more real than what I am experiencing right now. And it wasn’t really the first time because you’ve had a lot of experiences that are unexplainable unless there is some kind of spiritual world.”
So I was lying in my bed in the middle of the night, just tormented between these two worlds of thought. And I was desperate. I’d been reading the Bible every day, for hours. I was getting very little out of it because there was so much I didn’t understand. I was reading from Genesis to Exodus and on through it like that, heavy going.
Finally I’d just had enough. I got up out of bed, in my pitch black room, clasped my bible to my chest and said this prayer to God: “God, if you are really there, you have to be bigger than my mind. You have to be stronger than me and my mind. And I am not going to do anything till you show me if you are there.”
Then in the total darkness I started trying to just shut down every single movement of my body, twitches, trembles, just any movement that would distract me from completely and utterly bringing my prayer to God, if He was actually there.
And alone in darkness at what hour of the night I didn’t know, suddenly my clock radio on my refrigerator came on. I certainly hadn’t set it to come on at what was around 3 in the morning. But just at that moment when I was the most desperate to have some kind of answer from God, the radio came on. And maybe you know this song that was playing right then because it was popular at that time,
“Lift up your fellow man, lend him a helping hand, put a little love in your heart.
You see it’s getting late, oh please don’t hesitate; put a little love in your heart.
And the world will be a better place, and the world will be a better place for you and me, just wait and see.”
Now maybe you’re an atheist and say right now, “Oh that was just an accident, just a coincidence.” At 3 AM my radio came on when I surly didn’t set it at that time. It came on right at the moment of my greatest desperation to have some kind of answer from God to overcome the domination my mind had on me. And on top of it all, an extremely significant song was on the radio right at that moment. You can call it a coincidence if you want to but I’d had things like this, although not this stunning, happen to me before.
I fell to the floor on my knees, overcome by that experience and the amazing answer to prayer. As I’ve shared in another post, it was for me almost like what happened to Jody Foster in the movie “Contact” when she first heard signals from outer space. Just indescribable amazement.
But there was more. As I was there in the darkness on my knees, I heard clearly two voices, with words I don’t think I’ll ever forget and which fundamentally spoke to my greatest weakness and changed my life. That story is going to be my next blog post, “Don’t ever ask again.“