Who we are often gets buried underneath a mountain of what we do.
There’s something much deeper to all of us that we’ll struggle to find until we get beneath the surface into the deeper question of “Who am I?” We were created for more than just working every day.
Ernie Johnson Jr. had that kind of an identity crisis. You’d never know it from the outside. He was an award-winning sportscaster for national television networks.
But that was part of the problem.
His career was reaching new heights, and his job – not his family – was getting his best.
He knew he needed a change. And in his words, on December 10th, 1997, he decided to put “his trust in Jesus Christ for everything.” At 41 years old, he prayed, “Enough of the me-centered life. I want to live a Christ-centered life.”
And the changes came immediately. He suddenly wanted to be careful of his language and to make his choices God-honoring to the best of his ability by God’s grace.
That’s when life around Ernie’s house got challenging. Faith didn’t come as easily to Cheryl, Ernie’s wife. She didn’t exactly appreciate some of the changes she saw in him. At one point, she even asked, “Are you really the guy I married fifteen years ago?”
It took the Lord to reconcile them. And a few years after He did, a biopsy report came from the doctor. Ernie had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Somewhere in all of that fog, Ernie came to a crossroads with his faith. One day at lunch, his pastor asked him, “Wasn’t December 10th, 1997, when you decided to put your trust in Jesus Christ for everything? What does trust look like right now for you?”
Ernie wasn’t sure. So his pastor grabbed a napkin (which Ernie still has) and wrote:
That was in 2003. Even now, below Ernie’s signature on every email is “Trust God … period.” Ernie’s struggles have deepened his faith in Christ by teaching him that when a crisis strikes, you only have one decision to make: Turn on God, or turn to God.
That’s our story, too. Whatever challenges we face, God is calling us to trust Him. If you’re struggling because you don’t know what trust looks like right now in your situation, I invite you to join us for our conversation with Ernie Johnson Jr. on today’s broadcast, “Growing a Deeper Faith Day By Day.”
God had His eyes on Ernie and his wife long before they were paying attention to Him. It’s the same for me and you.
You can hear the program on your local radio station, online, or on our free phone app. Ernie also tells his story in his book “Unscripted: The Unpredictable Moments that Make Life Extraordinary.”
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