Eric Meyer Testimony Paper
CMN 8263: Discipleship & Evangelism
May 13th, 2008
Contemporary Testimony Paper
The story of my journey to Christ begins with my Dad, who was born in South Dakota on a kitchen table in 1942. There was no electricity on my Dad’s farm for the first ten year’s of his life. Ice was cut from the Missouri river, and stored below ground. This was their method of refrigeration until the ice melted in the summer. Children in the community were to be seen by parents and grand parents, but not heard. Rules were to be followed without discussion, and excuses were not allowed.
Through diligent effort, never giving up, and never making excuses, my Dad was able to build and sell several companies which allowed him to retire to a comfortable lifestyle. The traits that served my Dad so well were drilled into me throughout my life. I have also worked diligently, created and sold businesses, and chased financial success through many family moves around the central United States. Living a lifestyle that demonstrated my success was more important than being personally fulfilled.
About 3 years ago I began to experience severe anxiety attacks. I had been using alcohol to excess as a way to moderate the anxiety, and shut off the stress generated by the life I had created for myself. While comfortable financially, with a beautiful family, I was a mess emotionally. The more I self medicated, the worse the anxiety became until it became so bad that I was terrified of even talking on the phone. Finally I began to pray for help. Sitting in my office one day during prayer, I distinctly heard a voice tell me to call my pastor. Not comfortable with the telephone, I sent an email. Minutes later I had a reply inviting me to lunch.
Imagine being a successful salesman who had spent 18 years traveling the world sourcing and selling toys to the largest retailers in America suddenly finding himself terrified of speaking to people. I knew my lifestyle had to change, and lunch with my pastor seemed like a good first step in the process. Pastor Erik sent me to the Bible with a challenge to read it in a year. God grabbed me through His words, and I read the Bible in less than 3 months. I could not put it down. I was captivated! Since then, I have rarely missed a day with my Bible.
Paul writes in Romans 1:20 that, “since the creation of the world, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that we are without excuse.” With my Dad, I was never allowed any excuses, but when it came to my Father it turned out that I had plenty. Though I have believed and prayed to God all of my life, I had never looked at the magnificence of what He had created and thanked Him for it. I had been living a life filled with significant sin, a sin so rooted in selfishness that I had not even noticed it. Proverbs 23:6-8 says not to eat or drink the food offered by the selfish man for his heart is not with his guest, but he thinks only of himself. “You will vomit every morsel you have eaten, and waste your compliments.” God is nothing if not blunt! I was convicted, but through God’s loving grace I also now know that I have been forgiven.
One of the stories that most impressed me when I began my new journey with God was Solomon asking for wisdom. Psalm 111:10 combined with the story of Solomon really struck a chord with me. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments.” I have had all of the material possessions that I could want, and they only lead me to an emotional breakdown. Here was a plan that I could follow towards understanding God. He was telling me to simply follow His commandments.
In my initial studies of the Gospel I had a serious concern with one aspect, and that was Jesus telling me that the meek would inherit the earth. The hero’s of the Old Testament seemed nothing like wimps, and the word “weak” is what I thought when I read Matthew 5. God corrected my thinking though. He led me to an article that said the original Greek word for meek meant something similar to what it means to break a wild stallion to follow the will of its rider. Then God lead me to Job. I read chapter 39:19-25, and was blown away. Here was a description of an incredibly powerful stallion whose, “Majestic snorting is terrible.” This stallion is afraid of nothing, but instills fear in the hearts of the enemy. The ground shakes under his hooves, and at the command of his rider, he charges forward yelling, “Aha!” God was telling me that he wanted to break me of my selfish habits so He could use me in His battle. This I could do!
The more I studied Jesus’ commandments, the more I began to understand that the key to the understanding was the word “commandment”. These were not suggestions, but commands. He had not come to bring peace, but the sword. He knew that following him would divide families (Mat 10:34-38). The risk was worth the reward though, as Jesus also bought healing.
The closer I got to Jesus, the farther He pushed away the anxiety. He asked me to do things I never thought I would. He has had me preach sermons to hundreds, lead Bible studies, and teach classes. Through this process of learning, I have been healing because I am not working for myself, but for Jesus. In John 15:16, he told me that, “You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit.” Jesus goes on to say, “This I command you, that you love one another.” For most of my life, I was in love with my goals. Now I understand that Jesus commands me to love others. That is a command I can follow because like my Dad, I know my Father will not accept any excuses.