• Steve McAtee

The Miracle of Christmas Night 2002

The Miracle of Christmas Night 2002 - By John Dozier, Jr.

I experienced a supernatural event in my father’s garden on Christmas night 2002, as I knelt over his mortally wounded, dying body lying in snow. He eventually died after having shot himself. God called me to that heart-shattering time, place on Christmas night to be with my father for a time. God created a timeless time and space as I cried out, desperately asking Him in the Spirit to help as I moved through what I now call God’s three-fold “protocol” for treating suffering—“the weeping, the window, and the way.” [https://www.amazon.com/Weeping-Window-Way-John-Dozier/dp/1607997940] God spoke the Bible to me in response to three struggles I endured that night kneeling in the snow next to my dying dad. I will not know if God saved dad that night until I get to heaven, but I do know God imparted to me a supernaturally marvelous series of outcries and responses that were not for me alone: God never imparts Himself and His redeeming grace for us alone; but rather for the purposes of our passing the comfort of God along to others:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2 Cor 1:3–5)

By means of my suffering, I have been healed, freed, and purposed to tell my story for God’s glory and the blessing and comfort of others’. It’s who I am today…

Before I pass along the three main tenants for redeeming our suffering that I learned on Christmas night, let me say that my book, my story, and my passion is directed at “Christians living in a culture of comfort”: I’m afraid that, even in the church, we are so prone to avoid DIS-comfort of most any kind that we have become ignorant of not only why an all-powerful and all-loving God could allow suffering, but how our own personal trials are meant to be used for God’s and our own triumphs, joy, holiness, prayer-life, Christlikeness, and intentionally serving others in His name.

Following, in a nutshell, is what God brought me through—for me to then help bring other’s through—on Christmas night. The three principles for treating our suffering are each followed by the Bible verses I heard from the Spirit as I cried out to God.

1. The Weeping: Freefalls and Foundations: All weeping, all tears, all trials, and all freefalls are loving God's offer for revealing and firming up the foundations of our faith. ln a broken world, little and big freefalls occurs every day. Without exception, everyone we meet is in some sort of freefall, some form of trial and pain. Every human being has faith in something. Trials test the nature and worthiness of everyone's faith foundations. [Genesis 1:1—In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. John 1:1—In the beginning was the Word. Deuteronomy 31:6—Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.]

2. The Window: Once on a foundation of Creation, Christ, and Covenant, we who are in Christ are assured no punishment is involved in our suffering, only purification: a window into our heart will be blown off its hinges for the purposes of searching our heart, discerning between the truths and the falsehoods of our faith—embracing the former and dispelling the latter. The inevitable trials of life vary in the duration and depth of pain associated with each experience. As challenging as it can be to “stay put in our pain,” each heartbreak should be understood before we try and "move on", or "get back to life". Purification and softening of the heart is all about replacing falsehoods with God’s True Truth—and gaining God-, self-, and other-awareness in the process. [Romans 1:18; Romans 8:1]

3. The Way: For the "co-redeemer in Christ,” the way back into the chaos of a fallen and broken world requires supernatural and human will power, purpose, and preparation. Please don't waste your tears! The anticipation of moving back into the chaos of a broken world can paralyze, minimize, or rush us. We must aim to purposely, passionately, more purified, move back into the chaos as a wounded healer, more mature, wise, like Jesus Christ than before the suffering, trial began. (Ezekiel 11:19; Romans 8:28, 12:2; Job 19:25]

There has never been a greater need for us to understand God’s created anatomy of the heart, the ways sin impacts it, and to use God’s unique plan for repairing the heart—in regeneration (John 3:3, 7; 2 Corinthians 5:17), but especially in times of suffering and heartbreak. Due to how the nature of Sin and sinning has affected our hearts, God must allow for heart-break to create the only window for break-throughs in our relationship with Him. (Ezekiel 11:17-21) As anyone who might post something on this great site will surely acknowledge, it’s not a matter of IF we are met with trials in this broken world, it’s a purely a matter of WHEN, to what degree, and will we be prepared to be made bitter or better through the pain.

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