One Word That Changed My Life!

by | Feb 26, 2024

One Word That Changed My Life!

Reflecting on the past, it’s hard to believe this happened more than 20 years ago. I was sitting in a friend’s basement, at an early morning Bible study, during a time when life seemed to be spinning out of control. My wife and I had teenage twins — a boy and a girl, so we had it coming from both sides 😉 — along with a mortgage, and debt. I was climbing the corporate ladder, my marriage was good, but not great, and I had loads of stress coming from every direction. Throw on top of that my natural tendency to prove everything as being either true or false. In my small world, 2 + 2 always equaled 4 and, as an “analytical Christian,” the things of God HAD to make sense to me, so I spent most of my thought life trying to prove Jesus was real, in tangible ways. You can imagine, I was a spiritual mess.

On that Tuesday morning, as guys who attended our Bible study were getting a cup of coffee and talking about recent sporting events, I was sitting on the couch taking a moment to pause — which almost never happened — and I heard a tangible, soothing, authoritative, but loving voice say one word that changed my life forever. It was God’s voice, through the Holy Spirit, who already had my life planned long before I was born, who knows exactly how many slightly graying hairs are on my head, and who intimately knows all my thoughts. Nobody else in the room heard the word He spoke, and nobody could have known the calmness that suddenly overcame me as we were about to open God’s word. To this day, I live my life by what ended up being a soothing directive that’s captivated me and given me purpose for more than 20 years now. In my moment of great need, God knew. He showed up in a real, tangible, incredible way to tell me that I was okay, and that I was right where I needed to be.

After that day, I developed a love for reading God’s word that’s gone far beyond a religious activity and has kindled a passion in me that’s stronger today than when I started. It’s been a blast reading the Bible from cover to cover, and by now I’ve lost track of how many I’ve done that. Sometimes, I simply read a few chapters each day — usually at night before I go to bed — and in about a year, I’ll read from Genesis through Revelation. Other times, He will have me stop on something and conduct a thorough study. Getting to know the Lord through His word has developed many passions in me for church, for people, for getting involved, and for allowing Him to develop me into the best version of myself – all for His glory!

The word I heard that day was exactly what I needed in that moment and for the rest of my life. In the loudest and most soothing voice that only I heard, He said to me … “RELAX!” Maybe that’s the very word for you today, too.

Bob Pettigrew is a staff member of Lord of Hosts Church.