“I grew up in Launceston. When I was 17, I joined the Tasmanian police force. After training, they gave me a gun and a badge and said, go and do it. I really loved my job, and I did every aspect of policing over the next 20 years. I also met a lovely lady, Debbie, and we got married, and had our first child. Life was good.
But back in the day, in the 80’s, when serious incidents happened, there was no counselling or debriefing. The boss would just say, “Go home and have a stubbie, you’ll be right.”
An incident happened in 1992 that really tipped me over the edge. I arrested and charged a man for three offences in one night. A few days later, the man rang, and the call went through to my home. My wife answered it and the man said he was coming around to shoot me.
I became very stressed. I slept with my gun under my pillow. My job was in my head 24/7, and eventually I had a breakdown. I lost all my confidence.
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Afterwards, I was on sick leave for two years. I had a good Christian doctor who was very supportive of me. During that time, I built a house on our farm. As the house grew, my confidence started to grow. But after two years I still wasn’t able to work as a police officer. They gave me a plaque, and said thanks for coming. I became very depressed and angry. My wife put up with a lot, but she was wonderfully supportive. She was a Christian and she was praying for me.
A Cop Receives Evidence
Where are you, God? You haven’t fronted up.
On the 1st of April, 1994, I went out the back door, into the paddock, and I just yelled at God. I said, “God, are you real? I’m a cop and I need evidence! So, give me proof! And prove to me the Bible is real! Also, people say that I need a relationship with Jesus, well, give me that as well!”
I went back inside. Sixteen days later, on a Saturday night, I was thinking, ‘Well, where are you, God? You haven’t fronted up.’
Just then I heard an audible voice behind me saying, “John.”
My head nearly snapped off my shoulders. There was no one else there. I said, “Is that you, God?”
I remembered that ‘John’ was a book in the New Testament, so I said to God, “Do you want me to read it? Whereabouts do you want me to read?”
You won’t believe this, but on the wall above me appeared three numbers: 2,1,1. I was excited. I said to God, “Is that chapter 2, verse 11?” As I said it, the numbers disappeared from the wall.
The week before that, my wife had actually bought me a Bible. She’d said, “This is for you. If you ever want to read it, it’s sitting over here on the table.” Back then, I said, “No way!”
But something happened inside me on that Saturday night, and I knew I wanted to read John 2:11. I found the Bible.
The verse said, “Jesus performed this first miracle in Cana in Galilee; there he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.”
A New Creation
It hit me. It was me. I believed in Jesus, in that moment! I felt the weight come off my shoulders, and I felt full of joy. I hadn’t felt joy for years.
I’d been transformed and I was a new creation.
I went to my wife and told her. I was jumping around, full of joy. She was calm. She said that years earlier, she’d had a similar experience of God speaking to her.
I said, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
She said, “You weren’t ready.”
And she was right. She always was right.
That was the beginning of my 29-year journey with Jesus. I had a Good News Bible and I consumed it all. It was wonderful. It was a tremendous time of growth. I’d been transformed and I was a new creation. The weight of depression, anger and alcoholism fell from my shoulders.
We ended up having eight children, four of our own and four adopted children from Ethiopia. Of course, there have been ups and downs in the last 29 years, but overall it’s been fabulous.”
Chris’ story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.