Looking back, I often don't think this was important.
Lately, I've been reflecting these experiences and compared them with the Bible. Moses and the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:4) :
When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!"And Moses said, "Here I am."
...and Saul on the way to Damascus (Acts 9:4-6):
He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
Though no one has asked me how do I know it was Jesus who speak. I just know. I wish I can describe how His voice is like. I can't really.
The first time was in 2005. I had bike accident and a few teeth came off (ouch!). A few days later reality hit me. I cried for the Lord for help. I never prayed so hard. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know if this could be fixed. Would I be toothless forever? How much would it cost? I was barely making anything.
One of my front teeth that came off. The quarter beside it is to show how long the tooth was.
I could feel a hand on my shoulder and a voice said, 'don't worry. Everything will be alright. Just trust me.'
A few years later, it was 2007 July and I was doing my first Ironman (3.8 k swim/180 k bike and 42 k run). Before you crossed the finish line, you had to run out for a 2 km loop. We started at 7 am in the morning. By then, it was dark. I had been racing for 14 hrs. I was tired :). I kept moving. As I was running to the finish line, all the memories leading up to the race flooded over me.
I remembered my bike accident and the feeling of helplessness. To learn how to swim. To learn how to train. To learn how to do everything. Not knowing if I have enough money to put into training. Using second hand equipments (my bike and my tri suit). Liver transplant. Doubting whether I can do this. It was at the same time I had relationship trouble. I quit my job. The fellowship I was leading was on the verge of splitting. The whole bit. It was uphill climb the whole way.
I was giving thanks to God when Jesus revealed more of my past. He showed me those times when I loved to get drunk in university, passing out at friend's house, puking my guts out. He showed me all those moments. Then He told me, "see all these, I was there with you the whole time."
By then, tears were coming out. Good thing it was a dark road leading back to the finish line :DDD. I couldn't help but to give thanks to Jesus. He was there. I didn't know it. He was there the whole time. Yet He didn't let me go. He just waited for me.
I wonder why I don't share this more often. I think I should. Is it too hard to believe that the God speaks in the Bible can also speak now? Isn't He still the living God? Isn't He still goes recklessly after sinners to bring them back to Him? I think so.
I wonder if Paul (also known as Saul) ever wondered why Jesus called him out when he was near Damascus. I wonder why Jesus spoke to me when I was in the middle of a race. Though, just like Moses and Saul, once someone heard the Lord, their heart are transformed. They never go back. Looking from 2007 till now, I wouldn't go back either.
When Cliff encountered Jesus at the end of his Ironman race.