Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"Smushed" by God

I'd like to share with you a story from a friend and regular visitor in our congregation. I have had the privilege of seeing God take him from a very hard place into a growing and joyful relationship with Him.  – Eric Bolash

At 44 years old, I was living what the world calls the “American Dream.” Wife with the requisite number of kids, senior executive of a large company, being paid a big salary with all the power and perks that comes with this role, nice home, two nice cars and great vacations. 

In addition, I was going to, and making a point to be seen at, a prominent area church and the popular area Bible studies. I was being real smooth in talking all about my “relationship with God and Jesus.” All the while, I had no peace in my heart, but thought if I could ever get to the level of financial independence that I was seeking, all in my world would be well and I would then have the peace I was so badly looking for. At that point, I would be able and would choose to live as a follower of Christ in my heart. And no doubt, I would then “walk the talk.”

In an unexpected two-minute conversation, all that was my world came to an end.

I came home without the job and career that I had so desperately built as my foundation—one that had become my god, and how I defined myself as a man/husband/daddy. My foundation had been built and was made up of pride, greed, deceit (of course hidden by my shrewd and manipulative words and actions), lust, envy, anger, hate…..all the rest of the list you could add here.  My god was now gone, and I had no idea how that in a short period of time I would collapse into nothingness at every level—physical, emotional, mental. I would add spiritual to that list, but I never had this even though everyone around me thought I did from my carefully crafted words and works.

A neat thing happened during the next 18 months. In the midst of an absolutely awful time that took me to the edge of my mind, physical body and life, and almost ruined my marriage and family….JESUS showed up. Of course He was always there, but it took my Father in heaven loving me so much that He set aside time and effort to smush me. He knew I would never surrender to him otherwise. Every professional I sought out for help offered up all the tools that modern day society has offer as their “fix.” And I tried them all in a big way, but to no avail. 

How was I healed? The way man has always had freely available to him…JESUS!  Funny thing, even in the most awful time, pride was so deeply ingrained in my heart that I would not turn loose of myself for a year and a half. The world tells you when you get to the end of your rope you tie a knot and hang on. That is a lie, although probably well intentioned. God’s smush finally had me to the point that I ran out of pride, and I let go of the rope. And I landed in the arms of JESUS!  What a Blessing. JESUS healed me.

I am grateful to have been taken to the point of hopelessness, because it took this for me to finally quit faking it and accept JESUS as my Savior. He gave me, and still does give the only true HOPE. I still turn away from Him when I fear the future and worry about being able to provide financially for my family. But the Holy Spirit is there with me always. Nearly every day when praying, I ask the Holy Spirit to holler real loud and even stomp His feet when talking to me, as I am still so easily tempted to pick up all the pride and selfishness, and all that goes with them. It’s humbling, but it is a blessing.

If you resonate with the author's story and would like to talk further with him, he said he would welcome that. You can send me an email, and I'll put you in touch with him: eric@apostles-raleigh.org

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