As I have often mentioned before, my conversion to Jesus Christ in the summer of 1985 had been a decisive turning point of my life. Presumably the decisive turning point! There is a “before that” and an “after that”.
You can easily check that since this time almost 33 years now have passed. Half of my lifetime! Enough time for observation and evaluation, I hope! So, I think that I can honestly tell you that during this time I have experienced uncountable proofs of God`s existence and his favour. Most of them were daily-life-experiences. Small hints, little helps and encouragements, advices, also sometimes an admonition, lessons, sometimes a dream, a gift and so on. Uncountable!
But some of those
experiences were very extraordinary and therefore unforgettable. They were so intensively that they seem to be “burned” into the bottom of my soul forever. “The five Clouds” is one of them! And
here is another one. Please enjoy!
My story started on a normal morning some months after my conversion. As usually after breakfast I was occupied with my daily bible reading, when I came to the point, where was told that all Christians had been baptized after coming to faith.
Well, I probably had read this before and perhaps It had been
also mentioned before in a preach, but I never had had the feeling that it would have a meaning for me. But this morning I
suddenly became aware that I hadn't been baptized after my conversion. There had been a baptism at the age of 8 in a catholic church. But this was 20 years before coming to faith. The first Christians in the Bible had been baptized after coming to faith.I felt
slightly confused. Did I need a "new" baptism?
Next day I had to handle with something in Jesushouse-office. When I had reached the second floor and stood in front of the bureau door, I noticed a sheet of paper fastened to it. I read: “Next Sunday the … adult baptism takes place in Grevenbroich Chapel. Registration for it here in bureau!”
My interest was stimulated. I went inside and asked the secretary. “Hello! Please, tell me … the annunciation on the door. What is meant with adult baptism?"
Ten minute later, when I left the office, I had been registered for the upcoming baptism on next Sunday. And also for a preparation course on Saturday. “This is a condition for the baptism. You will get there all advice and information you need ” , the secretary had told me. Now outside the bureau I felt a little bit uneasy. Had I decided correctly? Or had I made my decision too spontaneous?
The secretary had informed me that the adult baptism based on the New testament. “First coming to faith, then baptism! Not vice versa!” I had come to the same result in my bible study. Nevertheless I normally would have taken my time for such an important decision. But it was already Wednesday and time had been pressing. The next chance for such a adult baptism would perhaps be months later.
“My bible reading … The sheet of paper. No, this could not be a coincidence! Now is the time!”, I thought. And began to feel a little bit more easy.
It had been a long Saturday. The whole afternoon I had participated in that baptism course and then, after a short pause, visited the evening assembly. It was 11 o`clock p.m, when I left Jesushouse and rode home with my bike. I felt very tired.
Nevertheless, it had been a good time. My last doubts had gone. The Elder of the course had made clear, that adult baptism was corresponding with the Scripture. More than that! The last order of Jesus on earth.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28 - taken from the New International Bible)
We all, three men and four women between 16 – 65 years-of-age, had nodded approvingly.
When I opened the door of my home I felt totally tired and my head ached. And I had
only one deep desire: Sleep! The next day would become hard again. First, from 9 to 12 o`clock a.m, the morning assembly and then in the afternoon the baptism in the Grevenbroich
church. I drove away all my worried thoughts and laid down in bed. A minute later I fell asleep.
Maybe an hour later I suddenly woke up. And had immediately a strange, intensive feeling, “Someone is here in the room!” I knew it with absolutely clarity, although I didn`t dare to open my eyes or to move my body and pretended to be still sleeping. But I asked myself fearfully, “Who is it? With the same clarity I knew that someone was inside my sleeping-room, I knew that it was no human being. Was it a “friend" or an "enemy"?
I laid stiff as a poker in my bed and waited fearfully, what would happen next. Suddenly, for a second a hand touched my forehead. And in the same moment a stream of deep inner peace run through my whole body. And in the next moment I knew, that I was alone again. Carefully I opened my eyes and looked around. The window was closed as before. In weak light from a streetlight I could see, that everything was at its place. No proof of a nightly visitor, except – that the stream of peace still kept running through my body.
For some minutes I laid awake in my bed, enjoying that warm, deep stream of peace inside me. Total relaxation! I folded my arms in my neck and thought about what had just happened. “Friend or enemy?” had been my question in my first panic. Well, this was answered now. It had been a friendly touch.
"Was it an angel? Or Jesus himself?”, I asked myself. But there was no answer. Only a deep feeling of gratitude and contentment. I felt strengthend and encouraged for the upcoming baptism next day. May be exactly this had been the intention of this unexpected visitation!