Healing Through Grace
While all this turmoil was happening, I kept reading the Bible I had bought in 1987. I began attending church and Bible studies, then, on February 13, 1991, I discovered the two-year lectionary “hidden” in the back of The Book of Common Prayer. From that day on, I immersed myself in readings from the Old and New Testaments every day, even though I knew that my understanding of what I was reading was partial at best.
In addition to all of this, I returned to the mountains and trails I had loved as a child. I hiked and climbed all the four hundred footers in New Hampshire; I climbed a few 14,000 footers in the west and in 1996, I returned to the Appalachian Trail, which I finally completed in 2011.And I rebuilt my business. But it wasn’t what I did that mattered; it was the grace of God that entered my life at a critical moment and guided me through the wreckage and then, through the power of His Holy Spirit, God began to prepare me for the future. My recovery had started through God’s grace. What was next for me could not have happened without the healing of my heart, mind and soul.
For most of my life I had been a nominal Christian. I had adopted the world’s values wholeheartedly and acted on those values. But eventually I ended up bereft. What had been sold to me ended up being so many grains of sand slipping through my fingers. And while I was moving in the direction of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I still kept at least one foot planted in the world I had always known. I was not fully willing to cast off the line that kept me tethered to a world that continued to reject and revile Jesus.
A Change In Direction
In 2012, in the desert of Israel at the base of the rock fortress known as Masada I made a commitment that would lead to a new purpose for my life. I came from a culture that knew Jesus’ name, but not very much else. In the world in which I grew up, Jesus was considered peripheral at best. He had become another “historical” figure, or a “good” teacher or a fictional character made up by a group of desperate followers. In the world I lived in, he certainly was not “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” But even though I did not understand what was happening to me at the time, I actually did encounter a Jesus who performed miracles, who healed the sick and fed the hungry. What had been a tiny speck in my own universe became a huge presence that grew to the point where I desired to get to know the Jesus I had known in name only. I felt God’s call to do more than just learn about Jesus. I wanted to really know Him and then to use that knowledge, and with the help of many others, to make Him known. This was a call I felt compelled to pursue—wherever it might lead me.