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the assurance of Jesus

April 22, 2008

I’m reading this book at work called Saving God’s Green Earth. It’s really good. I’m convicted already. The author constantly refers to Romans 1 – creation testifying of a Creator. He shares the following story. In honor of Earth Day, and because I enjoyed the story myself, I will now, in turn, share it with you:

“While I had come to the realization that there was a Creator, I still struggled to accept that Jesus was the Son of God and that God was the Creator.

“At that time, Nancy and I were living on our family’s ranch in California, raising our kids and enjoying life. Nancy came into a relationship with Christ a few years before and was fervently praying for me to come into a full understanding of who Jesus really was (sic).

“Before I found my way to the mountainside that evening, Nancy took me to a musical at a church about an hour away from our ranch. During the musical, there was a multi-media presentation that made a lasting impact on me.

“Now, you must realize that this was in the mid 1970s, and the cutting edge of media in those days were two slide projects that faded in and out simultaneously.

“During the presentation, the choir performed a song taken from Psalm 42 where David was crying out to the Lord, ‘As the deer pants for water, so my soul longs for you.’ As they were singing this song, the slide projectors would fade in and out images of nature. However, the projector kept returning often to this one picture of a doe with this deep, penetrating gaze.

“For me, the deer represented Jesus – and that image grabbed me like no other. I was so taken by that picture, realizing that the longing in my heart was to come to know God and know for sure that Jesus was God. I wanted to know it was really true.

“Upon returning to our ranch that evening, I was so bothered by that picture that I was unable to sleep. So, I returned to the same knoll on the mountain where I had sat when I was 16. As I approached the knoll, I noticed there was a log there in a clearing. After I sat on the log, I began praying, ‘God, if You’re real and Jesus is Your Son, would You reveal Yourself to me?’

“As I was sitting on the log praying, I heard footsteps behind me. I was terrified. I had lived in the mountains most of my life and it wasn’t unusual for me to take walks in the night and hear strange noises. But on this particular night, I was terrified. I was asking God to come and reveal Himself to me – and in my heart and my mind I felt like God was walking up behind me, so much so that I was afraid to turn around.

“With this paralyzing fear keeping me firmly seated on the log, I hardly moved when a deer stepped within an arm’s reach over the log I was sitting on. She walked over the log, moved around in front of me and turned, looking me square in the eyes, just the same way the deer had stared at me throughout that multi-media presentation.

“It was as if He was saying, ‘I’m here and I’m real – and I’m answering your prayer.’ I no longer needed any more assurance that Jesus was (sic) God’s Son. I knew it deep in my soul.”

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