Get High on Life

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 21, 1998

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / September 21, 1998

Last week, I had the privilege of moderating a peer support group. The agesof the participants were from 17 to 50 years of age. I met with the groupa few nights. We discussed a wide range of subjects. You name it; wetalked about it.

After the last session, a young man lingered around until everyone left. Hethen asked if I had time to talk to him. I told him that I did and we eachgrabbed a chair and started our conversation.

“I’m not originally from here,” he shared. “I was raised in another state.”He continued, “About seven years ago, I was coming home and witnessed a terrible accident. I was the first person at the scene. One young man hadbeen thrown from the car. I looked at him and he was covered with blood. Ithought he was dead. I then went to the car that had started to burn. Itried to reach the other person trapped inside, but to no avail. The flamesbecame so fierce, I was unable to get to the trapped man. For 10 minutes, Icould hear his screams for help. He cried louder and louder, ‘Please helpme!’ All I could do was stand by and watch. It wasn’t until later, when helparrived (only too late), that I found out the young man in the car was a boy I grew up with. He lived down my same street. Those cries for help havestayed with me all these years.” He began to cry and said, “I can’t get itout of my mind.”After regaining his composure, he said, “Ever since then, I’ve had a hard time believing in God,” “What kind of God would allow this to happen?” he continued. I just listened. “Your faith seems sincere,” he said. “Do youthink God allowed me to witness that for a reason?” he asked.

I’m usually not at a loss for words, but I was then. Remembering what theBible says, I was reminded that the Holy Spirit would give me the words in any circumstance, if I asked. I did request His intervention and this iswhat I told the young man. “God has a reason for everything. Why you wereallowed to witness such a tragedy is beyond me, but I do know that the way you described the fire and the cries are exactly the way the Bible describes Hell in Matthew 13:42: “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”I then said, “Maybe God was just showing you what Hell is like.” Ireminded him that it is Satan who comes to rob, steal and to destroy. “Hedestroyed your friend’s life and is in the process of robbing you of a sound mind,” I said. “You’ve been tormented for seven years. You’re in bondage.””Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?” I asked. “Yes,” he said. “If you diednow, where would you go?” I asked. “Don’t know,” he answered.I told the young man that the Bible says that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, you must be born again. “Do you know what that means?” Iasked. “Not really,” he replied. I explained the miracle of salvation, thedeath and resurrection of Jesus, the fact that we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God, and last, but most importantly, repentance.

I asked if he would like to accept Jesus and be born again in the Spirit. Helooked at me for a few seconds, as though he was weighing the cost. Hethen said, “Yes.” I led him in a simple prayer that acknowledged his sins,asked forgiveness, and invited Jesus into his heart to become the Lord of his life. We then prayed for God to free him from his torment. “God willgive you a peace that surpasses all understanding,” I said. “That’s Hispromise to us if we do His will.”

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur.

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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