The Day God Phoned

A personal testimony by George Pytlik

George and Wendy Pytlik

About the age of 15, something snapped inside me, as it does in many teenagers. Once easy-going and obedient to my parents, I became a rebel, fiercely asserting my independence. I grew my hair down to my shoulders, wore tattered jeans, and joined the many protest marches of the time.

Perhaps the biggest target of my rebellion was religion. I was convinced God didn’t exist. In my view, the concept of God was just a tool people used to control the behavior of others. I lashed out scornfully at Christians and delighted in pointing out the Bible’s apparent contradictions. Looking out for Number One (i.e. “Me”) became my motto.

One evening in the early 1980’s I was helping an old high-school buddy move to a new home. It was a chance to catch up on events in our lives. I told my friend how three banks had all rejected my application for a new car loan. This puzzled me, because my credit was good. Paul, a Christian, suggested that he pray for a supernatural answer to my problem. His only condition was that if God were to answer the prayer and I would get the loan, I would have to attend church. I accepted his challenge. After all, the loan was dead. Nothing would happen, and Paul would doubt his faith. It was a great opportunity to prove that God didn’t exist. Paul prayed. We continued to talk.

A few minutes later there was a phone call for me. A loans officer at one of the banks I had spoken to weeks earlier had inexplicably reopened my month-old file, recognized that a mistake was made, and approved the loan. With this event taking place long before cell phones existed, it had taken three phone calls to track me down to my current location.

As I spoke with the loans officer at the bank, a cold chill ran up my spine. Every hair on the back of my neck stood on end. My hand trembled so hard I could barely hold the phone. I desperately tried to tell myself this must be a coincidence. Yet, even the most rational explanation seemed impossible. Could it be that there was a God who cared about me personally? If God existed, then I was playing Russian Roulette with eternal life. I began to attend church and read the Bible with a spirit of intellectual honesty, determined to find the truth.

I studied the many prophesies about Jesus Christ, dating back more than 1,000 years before he was born. How could men have known so much about him? Could he really have been just a well-known teacher, or was he something more? I studied his teachings, and his claims. He claimed to be the very son of God. He claimed to be the only way to eternal life. I examined the remarkable changes that his disciples went through after his death and resurrection, each one willing to die for their faith. Would they die for a lie? Looking at things I had thought were contradictions proved only my foolishness in assigning them that label without proper thought. They weren’t contradictions at all! In fact, there are no actual contradictions anywhere in the entire Bible.

The evidence was overwhelming. In January 1983, about two years after that phone call, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. Since then God has dramatically changed me. God has made me a thoughtful, caring person — someone who actually looks for opportunities to help others. I’m far from perfect, and too often do the things that I know I shouldn’t do or say the wrong things. But I’m deeply changed. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ has filled me with forgiveness, love, joy, and peace. I have the freedom to enjoy life as never before. Every moment seems rich and vibrant, even in the most unpleasant circumstances. God is real, and he has made me a rebel with a cause. My greatest joy comes from serving him and helping others discover the power of God’s Word. The Christian life is the most exciting, most joyful adventure there is. Jesus loves you and wants you to experience the adventure of a personal relationship. Give him a chance to change your life.

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