Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)
TITLE: First Encounters of the Supernatural Kind
By Stevie McHugh
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With unexplainable expectation, I lifted my head and saw a double rainbow stretched across the sky -- I’d never seen such a thing. As I admired the rainbows, it was as if someone whispered to the depths of my being, “Cheer up! You’ll soon find what you’ve been hoping for!”
I’m a Daddy’s girl, and ever since Dad died six years earlier, my heart had been numb -- nothing had reached it until that moment. But I had never stopped searching for my sincerest desire. It was this: I wanted to find that noble purpose for being placed on the earth -- that thing worth living and dying for -- and give myself to it wholeheartedly. Problem was I didn’t have a clue what that noble purpose was and had even lost hope of ever finding it.
Soon after the twin rainbows lifted my spirits, I was visiting a close friend. Just before I left to return to college, Jack said he wanted to show me something he’d been keeping for years. He took a small television out of the back of his bedroom closet. “This was my grandmother’s. It doesn’t even work anymore, but if you stand in just the right spot, you can see an image in the speaker slats.”
Jack put me in the position for eyeing it. “Do you see it?”
“Yes! It looks like a picture of Jesus,” I said.
As I drove off in my honey-colored Datsun Honeybee, I said aloud to myself, “I just saw Jesus.” I tried to stir up some enthusiasm, but the event had no particular meaning for me.
That week I watched “The Amityville Horror.” It had a profound effect on me because, however loosely, it was based on actual events. As I lay in my bed that night, I saw visions of demons! I couldn’t sleep because of my newfound belief: There is actually a supernatural realm –-a devil and a God. Since I don’t know God, I must belong to the devil!
I went to class the next morning and shared with some classmates about my scary experience. Mary took me aside and told me she had been an empty and unfulfilled person until she met Jesus, the living God. He gave her peace, joy, and satisfaction.
Mary’s words were such a relief –- like opening a car door that has slammed on some fingers. That’s what I thought at that moment, but I talked myself out of going to church with her.
Mary didn’t give up. For months she kept inviting me. One day she told me that Nicky Cruz was having a crusade in town. She asked, “Have you ever read ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’”?
I remembered reading that book and being more impressed with the author’s story of being led by God than by any experience I’d ever heard of. Now I had a chance to see the gangster from the book; I went with Mary.
At the event, I listened attentively, willing to grab hold of this fulfillment Mary had told me about. Nicky Cruz’s story was compelling. I became convinced that God has the power to change lives and give people a fresh start.
During the invitation for salvation, I said my own prayer in my heart, “Jesus, if you’re real, I need You. I want You to be my Savior. Please forgive me of my sins and give me a new life.”
After my sincere prayer, I experienced what felt like a thorough cleansing of my soul, as if all traces of darkness and dirtiness had been pulled out of me. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I had just become a child of the living God. I cried many tears of pure joy.
When I finally looked up, I saw a banner -- a picture of a rainbow with “Jesus” underneath it. I recognized that God had been wooing me persistently ever since I saw the double rainbow.
The something worth living and dying for on the earth turned out to be an unseen, eternal kingdom. Upon becoming a citizen of heaven through Jesus, I found complete fulfillment.
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