This is my testimony of how I encountered Jesus Christ in my life. And this is going to be a series-form where I narrate my life looking back: my disobedience and my repentance. For we can only connect the dots of our life looking backwards.
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God." - I Corinthians 1:18 NKJV
May 2021, Imphal, Manipur
In the month of May this year — actually a few months back — suddenly I was bedridden for two weeks. I could not get up from my bed. Even on bed, I could not sit properly. I had lower back pain. But it was not the right time to fall sick or ill in any way , because the coronavirus pandemic was raging and wreaking havoc across the world — and is still ongoing — and doctors were not available to see patients because of fear of contracting the virus.
I thought I was strong. But at that point, I came to realize the futility of trusting in my own strength. Our strength diminishes as we age, and our body dies each day. It’s this hard truth that we don’t want to swallow at any point in time.
But anyhow I was taking medications for back pain, and it didn’t do much to make me get up from bed and walk. I was taking those medications for the prescribed duration. And I didn’t get up from my bed. And I was still bedridden.
As some friends suggested, I did oil massaging on the affected part of my back, and my wife helped me with the massaging for about a month. And the pain subsided slowly, surprisingly. And I began to walk… with a cane, though. But I saw the hand of God in all this.
While in bed, all I could do was to read the Bible which is usually kept on my pillow side. In those days of helplessness, the LORD stirred up my spirit to share with the world what He has done for me from beginning to till this day… from the time that led me to the Christ, and then disobedience, and to repentance.
Truth be told, I have been a disobedient servant of the LORD. Even the worst sinner of all and quite unlovable, the LORD has been faithful to His promise. He has never left me nor He forsook me. But as His Word says: For whom the LORD loves He chastens.
Till this day, I have delayed my writing and sharing as I could not sit before my computer. Now that I am able to sit for some time on a stretch, I am beginning to write and share my testimony with the world before God, as I promised the Lord.
And this is going to be a long read. I will divide this long testimony in parts, so that it would be easy to read and understand, and in turn praise God for his wondrous works.
January 2003 at Southern Asia Bible College Chapel, Kothanur, Bangalore
It was in January 2003. I was in the final year of B.Th (Bachelor of Theology). Graduation day was knocking on the door, and this graduation was going to be special and like no other before because it was the 50th year or Golden Jubilee Graduation Ceremony for the college.
It was in the second-week of January 2003. Missions conference was being held at that time. This conference used to be held in the month of January… a fresh start on a new year and towards the end of the academic year. And it was all about missions… preparing for sending out students of the Bible in the field of their calling. It was also a period of prayers, praise and worship and about drawing closer to God.
On the last day of the missions conference, in the evening there was a big Map of Indian Subcontinent drawn on the Chapel floor. Students of the graduating classes were supposed to place and light a candle on their choice of places where they were going back after graduation.
That night we worshipped the Lord, and sang praises and gave testimonies.
It was about past midnight. After all the praise and worship, prayers and washing of the feet of graduating students by our teachers, each one of the graduating students had to place and light a candle on the places that they were going back after graduation.
I also placed and lighted a candle on a place where I had supposed to go back. But to this day, honestly I really don’t know where I placed my candle on that map of the Indian Subcontinent on that night.
After I placed the lighted candle on the map, I returned back at the back of the Chapel near the door. From the back, I saw everyone worshipping God, praying and crying before God. Even after so many years, I still remember that night so vividly as if it happened some days back before my eyes.
I was standing at the back of the Chapel, and suddenly I heard a voice in my right ear – a voice so clear that I could hear even in the midst of the loud noises of others crying, praising, worshipping the Lord. The voice said “You can go home. But remember, never let the name of Jesus slip away from your tongue.”
After hearing the voice in my right ear, I felt sad deep inside of me, because Graduation Day was approaching in two months’ time. And this graduation ceremony was going to be like no other before, because the college was celebrating its 50th year…Golden Jubilee. And it was going to be special.
And moreover, I was highly likely going to be the recipient of the gold medal for the 3-year long academic race that I ran for the course. And I didn’t want to miss the gold medal.
But the voice in the SABC Chapel was telling me to go back home. And I was still standing at the back of the SABC Chapel, perplexed.
Then I went to my room, and I slept.