by J.P. Ruiz
How Jesus changed the life of a man and made him a new creation in Christ.
Charlie was an alcoholic and this day was ending just like every other Friday had ever concluded. On his way home from work he had picked up a a bottle of whiskey and a couple of movies from the video shop. He planned to watch movies with his family as he drank his problems away. He really didn't care what movies were on the television it was just noise to fill in the gaps of his life. His family had always had movie night on Fridays.Popcorn, pickles, and candy along with a couple of good family movies was the usual plan. This was a way for the family to spend time together. It was the Christmas season and as he walked to his car from the video store snow began to fall," what a beautiful thing but why doesn't it feel like Christmas? Why doesn't it feel like anything?", muttered Charlie. Charlie kind of felt like he was invisible to the world, he felt like he was in the dark center as the carousel of life circled around him.
Charlie had been a policeman for over ten years, this had been his dream since he was a small child. He had advanced professionally but it seemed like he had not advanced financially. Charlie lived in a small rural town with his wife and children. Charlie had two boys and two girls, they were his life. Charlie had become a police man to keep them safe. As Charlie came through the door at home his wife Susan had supper ready so everyone sat down to eat. Charlie said grace and everyone began to eat. Susan informed Charlie that they had received a letter from the bank foreclosing on their home. He had received his pay check but again it was not enough to cover all the bills. Charlie had taken a second job on the week-ends but still it was not enough. Charlie thought to himself, "Its never enough". "Charlie we also had a call from the auto finance company, they are going to repossess our car tomorrow, what are we going to do?"said Susan. Charlie explained he had a plan. Charlie thought to himself," I have a great life insurance policy and maybe it was time to cash in".
Charlie was a disabled veteran and he had accumulated a ton of medical bills. Charlie's life had become a series of doctors visits and hospital stays. Charlie was working on his VA disability but that process took a while. Charlie called the VA at least once a day and once a day they would tell him they were on the last stage of his disability process. Charlie suffered from Severe pain syndrome, Fatigue syndrome, severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Charlie was doing his best to take care of his family but it was all beginning to fall apart. He couldn't hold it together anymore.
Charlie loved his wife and kids and taking his life was not something he wanted to do for himself. Charlie always thought suicide was a selfish solution to problems but here he was contemplating a plan to take his own life for the sake of the family. After supper Charlie walked over to a desk he had in the living room that he used as his office. Charlie sat down and logged onto his computer. As he began to research other cases of suicide for insurance money he came across some pictures of a camping trip he had taken with his sons several years ago. Charlie loved camping and most of all he enjoyed spending time with his children. He must of clicked on the file with the pictures by accident. He didn't speak much to his wife as he scanned through the photographs. Susan helped the children get ready for movie night.
Charlie got up from his desk and walked out into the back yard. As Charlie walked across the yard he walked into the barn and fell to his knees.Charlie was overwhelmed with defeat as tears rolled down his face, he just could not go on another minute. Charlie remembered the insurance company wouldn't pay for suicide, but maybe if he could make it look like an accident. After all he was right by his gun cleaning table. Charlie pulled his gun out of his holster and pressed it against his right temple.He stood up and pulled his gun away several inches away from his head. The gun was almost at table level. As he was going to pull the trigger he heard a loud bang and he was thrown from one side of the barn to the other,almost ten feet.
Charlie looked up and said,"God, if you are real you are going to have to show yourself to me". "Please God I need your help", prayed Charlie. In an instant a feeling of peace overtook Charlie. Tears of joy fell from Charlies eyes to the ground, Charlie didn't know what was going on but he knew one thing, it was God and He was real. He knew it was God, only God could show Himself in that way considering Charlie's situation. Charlie felt like someone had come in and taken the weight of all the problems off of his shoulders. Charlie heard a small still voice saying, "Charlie you are going to have to trust in me, even if you lose everything I will redeem it for you.
There was no food in the refrigerator, all the bills were past due, he was about to lose his house and car yet he felt peace about the situation. Charlie went back inside his home and called everyone into the living room. "Alright everyone we are going to have a family meeting. I know I have not been a good father or husband, I am asking for your forgiveness. God is real and we have some serious problems, so serious that only God can fix them. I want every one to hold hands and we are going to give these problems to God and He is going to fix them for us", said Charlie. "I'm going to lead us in a prayer, Dear God I repent for all that I have done wrong in your eyes Lord I give you my life and I give you my family. We are going to do our best to serve you every day of our lives. Lord, I declare today that you are our Lord and Savior, Amen". Charlie's family did not exactly know what giving God our problems meant but they were with him. A sense of peace filled the house.
The very next day Charlie began his day with prayer, Charlie had placed Christ first in his life. Charlie drove to the mail box and found an envelope with no return address. He opened it and in the envelope was the exact amount of money he needed to make his house payment. When Charlie got back to his car stuck under his windshield wiper blade was another envelope containing more than what he needed to pay for car payment, not one payment but several. The greatest thing was that Charlie did not even crave alcohol, as a matter of fact the thought of whiskey made him sick to his stomach. Charlie looked up and said,"God thank you for showing me that you are rea and thank you for saving my family".
Charlie began a new life and he used his previous experiences to minster to those who are where he had been. Charlie learned how to love people the way Jesus says to love people. Charlie learned that all of God's promises are true and He will never forget you or forsake you. Charlie started a "Celebration for Recovery" group for people that need help with addictions. Charlie's life is a miracle. The old man was gone and the new man was now here. The new creation in Christ Jesus was ready to take on the world. Charlie knew he had a lot of work to do but he was ready to be a good dad and the good husband God had created him to be.