Refining Life, on Purpose

God Things; Miracles and Answered (or Unanswered) Prayers

Sometimes, there are life circumstances that can only be called “God Things.” This is an example of how God showed me his presence in my life, and then He later proved it to me.

It had to be one of those God things. That’s the only reasoning I could muster for still being alive. It had to be. Only… I really wasn’t sure if I even believed in God.

You see, my earliest memories of church and/or religion begin at a Catholic Church. (Note: this is NOT a criticism of Catholicism – just my experience). That church is where my grandparents faithfully attended. My mother went to a Catholic school and attended this same church sporadically throughout my childhood.

It was mostly the result of a programmed obligation and she took me until I got to my first Communion. Then, she told me her obligation was done and it was now up to me to decide whether to go to church or not.

I didn’t step foot into one for anything other than a wedding or funeral for at least 10 years thereafter.

The God Things We Take for Granted in Life

I may have avoided church for a good ten years. But that’s not to say God avoided me.

I just didn’t understand him or his ways. About the time I “unchurched” myself, I was walking through a merchant tent at our county fair. Some little old ladies saw me, a wandering and lost youth. They invited me to view a puppet show, and I joined a couple other wayward kids in waiting for it.

“Before we start the show,” one lady said. “We need to tell you about someone.”

This may seem like a very ordinary event and one that is sort of a non-event. I mean, bribing kids with puppets at a county fair to listen to stories about God is a common go-to tactic for many outreaches. To most people, it’s probably pretty insignificant. To me, though, it was the first I truly heard and gained genuine understanding of the Gospel and Jesus Christ.

I may have even accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior on that day (which I know for sure that I did in 1995).

Sometimes, there are life circumstances that can only be called “God Things.” This is an example of how God showed me his presence in my life, and then He later proved it to me.

Some life circumstances can only be called God Things. Today’s post is an example of how God showed me his presence in my life, and then He later proved it to me.

God Things Show that God’s on Your Side

From that day, I sort of felt like God was always on my side – even if I didn’t always acknowledge or understand him. The closest I came to reading scripture came when thumbing through New Testament booklets that were handed out by Gideons at my school or at the same county fair (I had a collection of about 7 different colors).

Years passed and life had both challenges and triumphs. I sort of had an on-off-on-off attitude in my belief in God. Though I knew there had to be a higher power I just wasn’t sure it was “God” as we typically consider him. I frequently talked about UFOs, aliens and such. I loved shows about magic and really wanted a pet dragon.

Secretly, I hoped I would meet with aliens who would take me away from Earth and the struggles of life.

Depending on the day, I had a differing view of God. On one hand, I questioned how a just God could put a kid like me into desperate circumstances. However, the next day might have me feeling like God’s watching and protecting me from catastrophic harm.

Finally, one of those God Things. During the final weeks of my last high school summer vacation, I suffered severe head trauma. I awoke in a hospital several days later and released many days after that.

When God Things Become Your Only Explanation

As I recovered, I tried to reconcile how I had been spared.

It didn’t make sense. I had later learned that complete strangers had been praying to a God that was otherwise unknown to me. Meanwhile, many other tugs on my heart were progressively changing my perspectives and producing a strange call upon my life.

Roughly a year after I had nearly lost my life, I was reborn for real.

I knowingly and undoubtedly gave my life to Christ. I started college less than a month later, thankful aliens never came to take me away.

Of course, there have been other God things happening in my life. However, these two stand out as moments in which God specifically spoke to me. He first – while I was a young and impressionable child – assured me of his presence. Then, on the cusp of adulthood, he proved his presence.

“Chad,” he said. “Remember, I am on your side. Maybe it’s time that you were on mine.”

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He's the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.