“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Monday, January 01, 2018

"I am your God who loves you."

“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. 
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. 
The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” (Ps. 126:1-3).
This testimony is from Shayne McCusker. He is wearing a neck brace with his hand tucked under his chin, supporting the weight of his head. It may be that this position, adding to his Australian accent, is why sometimes his spoken words are hard to understand. Nevertheless, he wrote his testimony very wisely and intelligently, and rehearsed it for our blessing, and, no doubt, for his own precious faith’s edification. When we tell our testimony to others, we are strengthened more than the hearers are. We are protected from Satan by rehearsing what Jesus has done for us. So without further adieu: Brother Shayne McCuska…

“I’m 69 years of age at the moment, I was born in 1947. I have advanced prostate cancer and only the last few weeks of life. I have a few fractures in my neck, and so in a bit of pain at the moment.

My father was Catholic and my mother was Anglican. But like in the 1960s, my father made most of the major decisions and I was sent off to Catholic schools. In my teen years, I moved to Sydney to go to university, and was attracted to the bright life of a large city.

My life overall was shallow, my relationships with other people were quite destructive. One of my main interests at university was philosophy. And I was interested in Franz Kafka and Jean-Paul Sartre. I was a bit of an expert in Sartre’s existentialism, as outlined in his book, Being and Nothingness.

In the early 1970s by a series of chance events, which I know was no chance at all, I met my wife and we had two beautiful sons. Life took a different turn after I was married. They both seemed to switch on a different set of priorities. My single ambition was then to have a successful career, and to give my wife and sons all the material help they needed.

Life moved on to middle age, as I passed my fortieth year. By this time my wife had started attending a local Anglican church that she had [?] an Anglican upbringing. In early march 1991 my wife invited me to attend her Bible study group, as their resident Catholic had left.

I thought, ‘Well, why not. I will bamboozle them with my existentialist views: that there is no absolute truth; there is no meaning to be found in life.’ However, in the discussion during the Bible study on those close brushes of death that sometimes we have, I mentioned to a jovial character sitting next to me, about an experience I once had. And was about to explain that it really had no meaning at all. He just turned around to me and said, ‘It probably just means that Jesus loves you.’

Those words stunned me. They went round and around my head. At work, as I went down the corridors, used the photo-copier, went to meetings, the words just kept repeating in my head, ‘Jesus loves you.’

The following week I had to attend a meeting in Brisbane. And as my normal practice would have been, I would have to investigate the night life of that city. And on the Wednesday night, exactly one week after the Bible study group, which my wife was actually attending that night, I was still unsettled by the words living in my head, ‘Jesus loves you’. They kept on going and going.

At around 9 p.m. I was laying in the bed of my motel room, staring at the ceiling, trying to make sense of what was happening to me. ‘Why was it those words were so hard to shake out of my head?’ After about 30 minutes of trying to divert these thoughts and to think of other issues, I finally said out loud, ‘Jesus, do you really love me?’

I was suddenly struck by how luminescent the room had become and everything in it. I raised myself up on my elbow to look at the wall and why it was so bright. The very next moment, from a position about half a meter behind me on my left-hand side, I heard a voice loud enough for anyone in that room to have heard, ‘I am your God who loves you.’

My whole being responded in a way that is very hard to explain. In a moment my life was given meaning and value. In that moment I knew I was created to be a home for this incredible, loving God. From that moment, I knew that life was serving this amazing God. There was now no other option.

Everything then returned to normal. The whole event was probably no longer than a few minutes. The room was again a normal hotel room. Except I was left a different person, on my way to becoming a new creation.

After saying my first prayer, the day proceeded as normal. The meeting I had for work went smoothly, and was more successful than I expected. On returning home, I went through the house throwing out all the material that was unhealthy for my young faith. I also threw out all my books on philosophy, especially those which conflicted with my young relationship with Jesus. I avoided all the places and people that may have placed my young faith at risk. The people that I had wronged in some way, I sought out and apologized for my sinful behavior. I became a regular member of the Bible study group with my wife. And immersed myself in scripture, and attended any course that would help me gain a better understanding how I might best serve my loving God.

Not long after, I prayed for a sound, spiritual mentor. And within a few days I met one of the most enthusiastic of Jesus’ followers, who had a recognized gift for teaching.

In summary, I can say that the one most important aspect I can recall [of that motel room experience] was God’s absolute majesty and holiness. I remained motionless, as there was no possibility I would turn around and look to see who had spoken. There was a sense, there was an authority, in the room; and I would only do what I was given permission to do.

My life since has had its share of problems, as you can see, prostate cancer is definitely no fun. I long to be reunited with my Lord. But, up to that time I am content to do His will to the best of my ability empowered by His Holy Spirit.

It’s now 25 years since I started this amazing journey. And it’s too hard for me to read what I’ve written of that night without tears. It was the happiest, most joyous experience of my life.

As I said when I first started to tell you about this encounter with Jesus my loving God, I did this to encourage those people who already have a faith, who have had a similar experience. True, many people who have been born into a Christian family gradually grow into their faith. And at a certain point in time, recognize that they are children of the living God, citizens of a holy nation. But there are a number of people who have [shared?] to the Master’s experience, and it’s my intention to encourage them [by giving them] [in?] a similar encounter [to mine]. I have no intention to try and convert skeptics or other people about the existence of God. It is God and God alone who can do that work. And I ask my loving God to bless you and encourage you in your walk and to give Him glory throughout your life. Amen.”

I will add to Shayne’s beautiful testimony with a verse from the Hymn, And Can It Be?

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

To hear the whole hymn, go to


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