NOTE from Bob: Zachary Churchill teaches in the Bible Department at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy where my seventh grade daughter, Grace, attends school.
One day last August, Mr. Churchill gave his testimony at a school retreat–and it opened Grace’s eyes to grace. She has never been the same. Last week I met him for the first time and asked him to share his testimony with us today.
You’ll be astonished. And encouraged.
Every Thursday we will offer up a post from one our Band of Six RLB Bloggers. Next up: Sanj Kalra. On other days of the week you might find other cool stuff like posts from guest bloggers like Zach Churchill.
Everyone has a story. If you’d like to share yours, just send it to me via the contacts link on the top right side of our homepage. Maybe we’ll publish it on a Tuesday.
MY CALLS TO GOD WENT TO VOICEMAIL, by Zachary Churchill
Have you ever tried to get ahold of someone only to have your call go to voicemail? That was my relationship with God growing up. And I was so used to my attempts to connect with Him “go to voicemail” that I was completely unprepared for what happened to me almost twenty years ago at a camp in Nashville. Here’s the story.
My sophomore year of high school and it was a complete disaster. My family was falling apart and I spent the year enduring a rough adjustment to a new school. So rough that I sunk into a deep depression.
To be honest, the only thing that probably kept me from taking my life that year was the fact that I had connected with the youth group of a new church in my area. The people there were great and gave me a little glimpse of what unconditional love felt like.
But then tragedy struck. Just a few days before I was set to leave for Nashville with my youth group, my mom made the choice to have my brother and me go live with our dad. I was devastated. I prayed hard. Only one request:
God would you somehow keep my family together?
I figured this would be a no-brainer for The Almighty. After all, how could He let it fall apart like this?
The ongoing, unanswered prayer made me more and more resentful. And by the time I arrived at the camp, my heart was literally seething with anger. God let me down—and I was determined to make Him pay.
On the first night when the speaker asked us to turn to Ezekiel, I politely opened my Bible to it but had no intention of following along. Then, all of the sudden, water started to drip from the ceiling right above me and drop-by-drop, landed right on my Bible. This put me over the edge:
Okay God, I understand you don’t care about me, but I guess you don’t care about this Bible either because it’s getting soaked right now!
And right in the middle of my rant, I experienced the one thing I least expected. My angry attempt to connect with God did not go to voicemail.
To my astonishment, I heard a silent voice say, Look down. And when I looked down, I saw something very unusual. An entire passage in Ezekiel (36:25-26) had been soaked by the water that had fallen from the ceiling. It was almost as if my Bible had highlighted itself to illuminate these words:
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
I will never forget the first time I heard God’s voice, the first time I felt Him speaking to me through His Word.
How about you? Do you feel like your calls to God go directly to voicemail? If so, open your Bible. And wait for the leak in the ceiling.