The five Clouds
(A true Story in 1986)
“When you think that you are standing, take care of yourself that you do not fall!” (Paul)
In the first six months I made quickly progresses in my new faith. Like a dried swam I absorbed everything I could get. So I went at least three times a week into the Pentecostal Church of my hometown and studied daily my bible. Besides I was interested in Christian Literature generally, especially in autobiographical stories.
More than this, I talked enthusiastically with others about the truth of my new way. I tried to convince them like a “good Christian” should do! If someone would have asked me “Are you really total convinced of your faith? Without any doubts?” I would have answered without any hesitation: “I am absolutely convinced! There is no doubt possible. It is the truth!” And I would have been proud of my new and strong faith. Well, I didn`t know the upcoming day, God perhaps had made to test my faith and show me my heart!
It happened on a sunny winter morning. I just had had breakfast and had already done my daily bible studies. Busy with some home works I now was listening radio, but not much intensively.
But at the end of the ten o`clock-news the speaker caught my full attention: “In Africa archaeologists have been grabbed out human bones of 30 000 years-of-age. The age of the bones has been established through the C-14 method, which is known as a very precise one. It is a sensation … “
The rest of the news passed unheard. My own thoughts had taken over the the rule of my mind. “30 000 years-of-age … but this is not possible … the bible says that Adam lived 6000- 6550 years ago!” I felt panic rising up. There was difference of at least 23 000 years. And I knew that the reliability of the C14- method was out of question.
A horrifying question manifested in my mind, “ Is all wrong what I have believed the last six months. Is my faith, are Jesus and God an illusion … a fake!!??… Am I in sect, as my parents believed? Have I betrayed myself?” From one second to the next I felt myself in a deep emotional trouble. It seemed that the ground had opened in front of me and I would look into an abyss. With desperation I said to myself: “Stop it! You must keep cool and think clearly!” So I sat down and tried to collect my thoughts.
Actually, I calmed down a little bit! “So, what should I do now?” , I asked myself. Suddenly “Brother John” came in my mind. This black pastor from Ghana, who had settled down in Duesseldorf half a year ago. I liked and trusted him! “OK”, I thought by myself, “this is a good idea. I will visit and ask him!”
Two minutes later I left my home. For a moment I thought about taking the bus, but then I decided to walk. “Brother John” was living in the neighbour district and there was a lonesome nature path to it. I had used it sometimes before.
When I walked through the small forest still in the near of my home, a new thought suddenly came in my mind. “Perhaps I should pray!?” But immediately it was countered by another thought. “You will pray to a God whose existence you are doubting?”
For a moment I hesitated. But then I said to myself, “Anyway, it may help. I will pray!” And so I stopped and prayed. “God, you see my inner trouble. l, help me out of it! I felt a slight relief. But naturally, that heavy burden was still laying on my soul. Absorbed with confusing thoughts and feelings I continued my walk.
There was a point where the nature path went over from open area to a big forest. And just there was placed an old bench. I knew that from earlier walks. So, I had adapted myself to relax there for a while. But when I reached it I saw an old couple sitting there. “Well, it is not my day,” I thought by myself. No one else was visible than that old couple just sitting on my bench.
I was already prepared to pass by, when they suddenly arose and walked away into the forest. With a feeling of slight relief and thankfulness I now came to rest on the old bench. I stretched out my feet and stared absent-minded in front of me. It was really a beautiful winter day. A blue sky combined with clear, fresh air. But I wasn`t able to enjoy that. I felt depressed and exhausted. The shock of the last hour had been to deep.
While I was sitting in that strange on the old bench my eyes went unintentionally into the sky. And they got caught,- do not ask me why -, on some white clouds in some distance of me. They were exactly five ones standing side by side. “Have they been there all the time?” I asked myself.
Normally it would have been ridiculous for me to watch some clouds in the sky, but here wasn`t to watch anything else. A strange thought came into my mind: “Don`t they look a little bit like letters?” So, I tried to look at them keeping this aspect in my mind. And really, I realized with great astonishment that every single cloud seemed to be shaped as a letter. And then I got it. At the sky was written, shaped by five clouds the word:
I stared disbelievingly at the clouds. Could that really be? Was I am dreaming? I took off my glasses and tried it again. There was no doubt. The five clouds were shaping the name Jesus!
And in the same moment came a bible verse into my mind:
“It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth …Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
(Acts 4,11 + 12)
I realized it in one moment. God had answered my prayer. He had let me see a miracle to help my fainting faith. I was stunned. Could it really be that God would do that? But it was obviously. He had really done. At the sky was clearly readable the name above all names: Jesus
So, God had given me an extraordinary revelation. This was for me now completely out of question. But what should I do now? How should I react? The bible passage of Moses and the burning bush came in my mind. When he saw that the bush wasn`t burning up, he realized that this was a heavenly revelation. And suddenly God spoke from within the burning bush:
“Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
Well, for taking off my shoes it was too cold. But I knelt down and thanked God for his revelation. Then I stood up and turned around. Without any further at the place of revelation I went straight ahead into the forest and took the direct path to Pastor John from Ghana.
Fortunately Pastor John was at home. I was welcomed with a hug and a cup of tea. Then we sat down and he listened quietly and attentively to my story.
When I had finished it, I was curious about his reaction. Would he say that it is nonsense? That I had become a victim of my “weak nerves”? Or had had a hallucination? But without batting an eyelid he said: “Well, this was really an extraordinary experience. But we can see in the bible that God manifested himself sometimes in the clouds.” And we started a short bible study according to that theme.
When we departed I felt totally relieved and happy. Now I was sure. God really had given me an extraordinary revelation to stabilize my fainting faith. “But what about the 30 000 years-of-age and the C-14 method?” For a little moment I paused irritated. I had totally forgotten to ask Pastor John about it. But then I smiled: “So what? Let them find old bones of 100 000 years-of-age. I know that my SAVIOR is alive!”End
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