08/17/2013: Called by God
Called by God
God works for each us in miraculous ways, even though we don’t always recognize the hand of divine intervention. With my testimony I hope to encourage and strengthen your faith and push you a bit harder to step out and let God lead.
I was a rebellious youth and made several bad decisions. I began drinking and smoking marijuana at a young age. I did well in school and got excellent grades, so I was able to keep my activities a secret from my family. That is, until I was arrested for using drugs. I moved out of the house at age 18 and ended up in more trouble because my roommates were using and dealing drugs. I had no intention of selling drugs and my involvement came from ignorant excitement and the naive invincibility that many youth have. My roommate’s drug use grew worse until they were bringing in multiple kilos of marijuana and eventually cocaine. I noticed a change in the demeanor of each roommate as they sank deeper into substance abuse.
Even though I was also using drugs, I really enjoyed weight lifting and bodybuilding. I thought that the abuse I did to my body on the weekends could be counteracted during the week by exercise and what I thought was a good diet. One day, while working out, I met a couple of guys at the gym. I was amazed at how Stephen and Eldon could be so strong and healthy despite being vegan. That went against everything I knew. I was eating some form of meat at least five times a day. They told me that they were healthy because of the insight of Ellen White, who had written many books on health.
Over time, we developed a friendship and I would fellowship with their families on Sabbath afternoons. I learned about biblical prophecies and came to the conclusion that there must be a God. I struggled with the idea of turning my life over to Him, until one day, while driving down the road, I came to a deep conviction. I prayed earnestly to God, and told Him that if He would deliver me from the bondage of drugs and alcohol, and prove it to me for the next 30 days, I would then be baptized and follow Him forever.
As soon as I finished praying, my eyes were opened and the sun got brighter. Looking up, I saw a translucent hand descending from the sky. It went into my chest and pulled out what looked like chains and took them back up into the sky. I felt a freedom from bondage and knew I was victorious, but also knew I had a part to play, and part of that meant moving out of the house I shared with my drug dealing friends. Later, I was reminded of this statement: “No one sees the hand that lifts the burden, or beholds the light descend from the courts above. The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God.” Desire of Ages, 173.
When I arrived home, the vision was still fresh in my mind and God pulled the blinders off and allowed me to see the reality of what I had been living in. Walking to the front door, I could hear the loud music from outside. I entered the house, which was like going into a dense fog or mist and I got goose bumps. In the corner, mixing records with a mixing board was a man named Julio. I saw a tall dark figure standing high above Julio with its hands on Julio’s elbows. The figure appeared to be controlling him like a puppet and I knew it was demonic. I realized that I had been subject to demonic forces in that house. I quickly loaded up a few of my things and left, never to return.
Thirty days later I was baptized. I felt that if I were to be successful in my Christian walk I would need to get away for a while. I traveled to California so I could stay with some of my family. I had no idea how important it was for God to impress me to leave that very day. I found out later that the house I had been living in, with all my “friends” had been raided by the police the same day and there was a warrant for my arrest. In a few days five troopers appeared at my parent’s home to arrest me. Meanwhile, in southern California, I contacted the sheriff and was able to share my testimony with him and the prosecuting attorney. They both happened to be Christians and they dropped the charges and bid me God speed.
In California, I got a job waiting tables at a restaurant. They gave me Friday nights off, and because it was winter, I would come to work after sunset on Sabbath. But the environment had issues: alcohol, rock music, sports fanatics, and foul mouths. These weren’t good influences on a new Christian, but I was zealous and on fire. However, when spring came, I had a Sabbath dilemma with the days getting longer. The owner told me that I couldn’t take two of the busiest nights off, and I would have to choose to work one night or the other. I knew I couldn’t break God’s law, so I went home and knelt in prayer, asking God to give me a job where I could honor Him and keep His commandments.
That night, I went to bed knowing that God would answer my prayer, but I had no idea that He would do it so quickly. I was awakened at 7:00 am (that’s like 2:00 am to a 19-year-old) by a call from Eldon, one of my friends from the gym. Eldon said he’d had a hard time contacting me, and that something very strange had happened that night. Pierre Barkovic, a friend of his in California, had opened a restaurant and health food store, and was looking for help running the place. You see, the same night that I had prayed for a job, Pierre had prayed for a worker. That night he had a dream and in it he saw Eldon. Standing next to Eldon was a young man with curly hair holding a jar of herbs. He was told to talk to the young man.
I got the job and because the business closed at 2:00 P.M. every Friday and wasn’t open on Saturdays, I was able to keep the Sabbath. I was reminded of the words of the prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” Joel 2:28.
Although I did know a bit about supplements from my bodybuilding days, my knowledge of herbs was limited. But I began learning as much as I could about God’s methods of healing while I worked with the people that came into the store. My desire for knowledge increased and led me to return to Washington, where I met my wife Sue. We attended health lectures in Seattle and knew that being part of natural health and healing was what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. God’s providence eventually led us to Kentucky to operate the Home for Health Lifestyle Center. We feel so blessed to be able to be in the ministry. Sue and I have worked with many people over the years and we are so grateful.
I can’t imagine where I would be now if God had not revealed Himself to me. Although God’s intervention in my behalf may seem dramatic, it was because of circumstances that threatened my opportunity to receive eternal life that caused God to intervene. I know if the curtain of life’s circumstances were pulled back for all to view, we would see Jesus working to bring us all into His arms of salvation. I trust you also recognize moments where he has worked for you, too.
Steve Day writes from Stanton, Kentucky where he manages Home for Health Lifestyle Center. Website: www.HomeforHealth.net.