Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Is it really God?

Years ago, in the middle of a frigid Maine winter, our van broke down. And since the van wasn't the only thing broke, my wife decided to pray. She stood in the snow covered driveway, holding the hand of our three year old daughter, and asked the Lord-- if it wasn't too much trouble-- would he please fix it? As the prayer floated to heaven, she smiled down at our precious little girl and said, “Won't it be fun to see how God fixes our van?”

Now, between my wife and I, there is a debate on whether or not it was exactly the next day when her brother stopped by, but for the sake of this article, let's just say it was-- because it's my article and I get to be right this time.

Her brother's reason for stopping in had nothing to do with our van, but in the course of the conversation, he asked about it. My wife explained that it wouldn't start, but it was no big deal. The conversation would have usually stopped there, but to both our surprise, he said, “I'll take a look at it”, and before we knew it, he was out in the driveway with the hood up, poking around inside. Now you have to understand, my wife's brother has about as much insight into the magical workings of automobiles as I do, and he's the last person I would have expected to volunteer for such a task. Yet there he was, out in our driveway, in the freezing rain, with his head under our hood.

It was no big shock to any of us when he finally decided he had no idea what was wrong-- but that wasn't about to stop him. He flipped his cell phone open and gave his mechanic friend a call. Only problem was, his friend drove truck for a living, and the chances of him being home were slim.

Well, not only was his friend home, he was willing to come take a look. He braved the weather, drove across town, climbed over and under our van in the bitter cold, and figured out what was broken. Unfortunately, the part was more than we could afford-- but-- unwilling to accept defeat, my wife's brother went to the store and put the part on his credit card, and his friend installed it right there in our driveway.

And so my wife looked at my daughter and said, “wasn't that fun, seeing how God fixed our van?” Needless to say, our daughter was thrilled.

Now, a skeptic might say my wife just has a perceptive brother with an oversized hero bone, but I like to believe there is more to this story than a simple act of kindness. I know God uses people to intervene in our lives. I don't understand how it works, but I have seen it too often not to believe. Yet even as a believer, I have moments when my faith falters.

Maybe it's different for you, but when I seek God, I don't hear a Charlton Heston voice from heaven saying, “Go forth, my child and it shall be as thou hath prayed it!” Instead it is more of a prompting in my spirit, or a confirmation from something in the Word. And yet sometimes, when I sense God speaking, I can't help but wonder, Is it really him? Or is it just my over active imagination? And, frankly, it bugs me. How many times does God have to prove himself to me?

Faced with this spiritual dilemma I did what any rational person would do: I wrote a supernatural thriller. In this, my second novel, Messages, I explore the concept of faith by creating an exaggerated allegory. Instead of a Christian, the main character is an agnostic, and instead of a still small voice, I gave him an in-your-face conversation with God-- by way of messages leaping off signs and t-shirts and such. The question this character must answer is, Can you trust these messages to protect you from terrorists while you hunt down a dirty bomb in the heart of a large city? I'll be the first to admit, it's an odd way to work through one's spiritual trust issues, but surprisingly, it helped. By writing Messages I was able to look at this concept of trusting God from an entirely new perspective-- and as a result, my faith was increased. It is my hope that it will increase your faith as well.


John Michael Hileman
Author of Messages and VRIN: ten mortal gods

26 comments:

  1. Hmmm. Interesting. I'll have to check it out. Maybe even get a copy for the local library.

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  2. It sounds really good and I can't wait to read it. I will have to get it from the library or something

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  3. This is an excellent post, friend. I love the way you write!! So glad we've 'met'. I intend to follow you—your blog & writing career.

    best,

    ~ c

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  4. It is a pleasure to meet you all. Please feel free to drop me an email any time. You can also chat me up on Twitter.

    Grace and Peace
    John Michael Hileman

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  5. Your work is really heart-warming. God is our encouragement & has truly blessed you as a vessel to do just that.

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  6. Awesome. We, as Christians, do sometimes wrestle with our faith. I love how you've worked through this using your gift. I'll make sure to pick up a copy. Love supernatural stories.

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  7. I love to hear stories of God working in the lives of his children. It is such an encouragement. I'll have to check out your book.

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  8. It's awesome when our children get to see God at work! Thanks for the link. Your book sounds interesting as well. I'll keep the link for once I've worked my way through the "stack of books" on my iPad.

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  9. Our God works in secret. Very beautiful his testimony. God bless you.

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  10. I enjoyed your post and will now have to go find some of your books. :-)

    God's blessings to you~

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  11. Thank you for tweeting me with the URL to your blog! It gave me a bit of lift for the rest of the day... (Wonderful lesson for your daughter, too). Sometimes I get so caught up in the getting things done that I lose sight of God's hand bringing everything together despite my - er - interference. It's good to get a reminder to keep my eyes open!

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  12. I'm so happy to hear that. We all need a little lift now and again.

    Regards,
    John Michael Hileman

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  13. What a great story, thank you for sharing John. I believe unconditionally that if you have an open heart and unquestioning eyes, miracles are there for you to see everyday! God bless you!

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  14. I think this was all God's hand.sometimes He uses people to bless us, otherwise, He just does things for us..can't explain it..but I have this amazing thing that happened to me last fall...my AC Adapter got very ...very hot and I needed it to charge my laptop's battery..I could see smoke and all that...and got scared...googled it and saw how much a new one would cost me(100$) and I just sat there...turned off the tv and started praying and I told to God to miraculously make it work again because I don't have those money and that I mainly use my laptop to listen to christian music and tune in my church's web site and tweet about His Word..so..after I prayed..I had the conviction that God made it work again..and it sure did...I can't explain it...but I never had problems with it again and hope I won't.God does amazing things and what happened..just proved me that He loves technology :)

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  15. What a wonderful story! I wish I had a hundred more friends like you. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    Regards,
    John Michael Hileman

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  16. Hi John, great post. The way your wife handled that will instill such trusting expectations of and belief in God throughout her adult life. It made me chuckle because because often when something similar to that happens my sister and I catch ourselves screaming delightedly "Wow, can you believe it?" We don't mean any harm, it's just an expression. But actually we shouldn't have even been so startlingly surprised that God worked it out once again. :)

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  17. Strange the way God brings people our way. I think when we show ourselves faithful to God and trust in his provision no matter the circumstance, He will get us through it. You wife did just that, awesome!

    My dad had a surgery go wrong, a bypass surgery and when they went in the second time he had no breastbone just the wires that were holding it together. An infection had eaten the entire bone. He had several other complications as well. I got a call saying he wouldn't make it through the first night and I should come. I got there and he was laying in the bed, unconscious, slit wide open with just a sheet of plastic over the incision, hooked up to massive tubes, his kidneys had failed the night before. He had to live four days before they would attempt a third surgery. I went home that night and literally cried out to God...it's in my no no no blog under my dad. He lived. He woke up about a month later with his pectoral muscles now where the bone was to cover his vital organs. He had no idea who any of his family was so each day we took pictures of the grandkids, kids, dog. A little over a month and he remembered the dog, then the grandkids, then us. With all the complications they gave him a few months at best. That was November 2010. He is still here today. Each day is gift from God. The second team of surgeons was a gift from God. No one can explain how he made it, how he makes it still. I can :-D

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    1. Just read this about your dad, Rockinmomma... Thank you for posting! So inspiring and faith-building!!! I'm praying for a friend's dad right now who is in critical condition... I believe that God's Will will prevail!!!

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  18. What an incredible story! Thank you for sharing it with us. It is awesome when God steps in. I hope your dad lives a long and fruitful life.

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  19. I think because we don't hear a Charleton Heston voice, we give up on seeing miracles or even looking for them. What I enjoyed most about Messages is that the miracle happened and was noticed and doubted and then by faith received. And your van? Very cool the way God used people He had already created (a miracle) to be the answer to your wife's prayers - are answered prayers a miracle? Well they come from the Miracle Giver so why define them any other way?

    Joy

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  20. Miracles are real and your wife is a blessing. She asked and received. What a touching and lovely picture you painted of her standing out there with your daughter. You're a good writer and thank you for your sensitivity to the working of the Holy Spirit. God is so good!
    Psalm 81:10 "I am the LORD thy God who brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it."
    Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
    P.S. May I use your example some day in a sermon? Of course I would cite my source. Also, I'm going to read your book sample!

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  21. You may use this story however you like; it belongs to God.

    I am so glad it blessed you.


    Warm Regards
    John Michael Hileman

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  22. Hi...It is so nice to know that God uses others to answer our prayers!!
    Truly,it is wonderful to see Him fixing our Van!!
    Such a beautiful story!!
    Truly,appreciable!!
    Thank you!!

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  23. I believe. God has fixed, found and healed lots of things for me. Glad your wife has such great faith, as I'm sure your daughter does too.

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  24. Great post. I look forward to more.

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