Have you ever felt lonely?
Have you ever felt abandoned?
Have you ever felt like it wouldn’t matter to anyone if you lived or died?
That’s how well-known author and speaker Josh McDowell felt when he was just 11 years old. His father, the “town drunk,” was abusive to his wife and created such havoc for the family that Josh became suicidal. He felt God had abandoned him – if God existed at all, that is.
Josh later went off to college a bitter young man and met a group of Christians there. He saw something in them that he desperately wanted, but just hearing the name of God angered him. His new friends suggested he study the Bible and decide for himself who God was.
Josh accepted their challenge and started collecting evidence to refute the Word of God. Instead, he discovered that it was true – that Jesus lived, that He was the Son of God, that He was crucified and rose again, and that He did it all to forgive us of our sins because He loves us.
Years later, Josh’s dad came to Christ and was instantly changed and healed from alcoholism. Before he passed away, the transformed “town drunk” led many people in the community to Christ.
Josh and I have a few things in common … like having an alcoholic father. I’ll never forget one night when my parents were going through their divorce, and my dad came to the house while my mom was at work. He was drunk and angry. He sat down in a recliner with a hammer and tapped it menacingly on the floor. He said he wouldn’t leave until my mom got home. Then he started banging the hammer against the wall, yelling that he was going to kill her! One of my brothers slipped out the back and ran to a neighbor to call the police. My sisters made me hide in another room.
Several years later, my dad died, as far as I know without becoming a Christian. He froze to death one night in a warehouse while sleeping off a hangover. I never got the opportunity that Josh had to lead my dad to Christ and to mend our relationship. That saddens me.
I know many of you have lived through traumatic circumstances as well. I also know that it’s easy to react to those situations as if God doesn’t exist, or as if He just doesn’t care. But God is real, and He loves you! He is pursuing you with the same passion that He pursued Josh and me, and He wants to have a relationship with you.
Maybe like Josh, you are burning with this question: “If God is real, and if He really cares about me, why did He allow my childhood abuse?” On the next episode of our Focus on the Family Broadcast, you’ll hear a recorded message from Josh where he answers that question for himself and for you.
Tune in for “Overcoming the Father Wound” on your local radio station, online, on iTunes, via Podcast, or download our free phone app. This program isn’t graphic, but it’s probably not suitable for younger children, so please use your discretion and occupy your kids elsewhere.
If you’re asking questions about God, you’ll be interested in a free online booklet we’ve written called, “Coming Home: An Invitation to Join God’s Family.” It’ll help you understand how to discover new hope in Christ.
Our research shows that almost 500 people a day commit, or recommit, their lives to Jesus Christ through the work we do here at Focus on the Family. Because we’re listener-supported, I invite you to partner with us in spreading the Gospel. The best way for you to do that is by making a monthly pledge. When you do, we’ll send you a free copy of this broadcast, so you can listen to it again or share it with a friend.
To make your pledge, or for more information about our “Friends of Focus on the Family” program, visit our website or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). Thank you for partnering with us to help families in need.
Josh McDowell has authored almost 80 books, including the newly revised best-seller Evidence That Demands a Verdict, which was named by World magazine as one of the thirteen most influential Christian books of the last 50 years. His book More Than a Carpenter is another Christian classic, which has sold 27 million copies in 85 languages!