Testimonial of Brad Wyrick
I grew up during the 1960s and 1970s taking part in both the Hippie and Jesus movements. While trying to live both lifestyles, I hadn’t a chance. So, this is my ‘Hitting Rock Bottom’ story, and I pray that you will look for eternal lessons to apply in your life.
We come to our Lord Jesus Christ for one reason or the other. There are various decisions made in life that bring us to our knees. Some of us have hit rock bottom, and some believe because it’s the right thing to do, and others expect to receive a promise that only God can make and keep. For me, it was hitting rock bottom and selfishly wanting God to bless me and give me hope for my life in 1971.
When I received Christ Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, I was a Hippie, a drug addict, a drug dealer. Accumulating 28 arrests for my sins and crimes. I share this as a statement of fact and testament to my bondage.
Three of my arrests happened in two weeks; for possession of sales of LSD and other drugs. I used two different alias names, and they released me without bail, with my written promise to return for trial, the first two times. In the third arrest, I had my real ID card with me. So, with the ID and figure prints, they figured it all out. So, there, I sat in jail with three court cases pending.
I was a fool, so I played the fool. I wanted to be different but not make a difference. Being the first one to wear bell-bottoms and love beads to school, only to become the first one arrested for selling drugs on campus. My being different made a lasting difference for the ones buying my poison.
Sin has ramifications on the individual, their circle of family, and friends. Justly, we do reap what we sow. Sin has consequences that affect us momentarily, seasonally, generationally, and in some cases; eternally.
A Christian friend visited me in jail and once again shared the GOOD NEWS of forgiveness, deliverance, and salvation with me. He told me that God not only wanted to save me but also restore me and deliver me from all my court problems.
He shared some paraphrased promises with me that God would work in me and through me to change my life and help with my court cases. I believed these promises were correct, and I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I made a promise to God to change my life according to His will and plan. I wanted Jesus to deliver me from my sins, but my alternative motive was to be set free from jail.
The only promise that applied to my life at that time was Eternal Salvation in Christ. I just assumed that all of God’s promises would be mine for the taking. I felt that He would always forgive me of my sins. This statement is true when we repent and forsake the sin. However, we can’t consistently keep sinning just because He forgives
His promise of salvation came true because I was born again! My spirit, soul, and body became alive in Christ, and it blew my mind. God started to work in my life. I went to court for a bail hearing, and they freely set me free. I didn’t have to post bond, only wait for my court dates. To God be the glory, for He was coming through for me.
This act of grace was God’s way of confirming His desire to work in me. He promised to set me free in Him and not necessarily just to set me free from jail. My freedom from imprisonment was an added blessing because of His love for me.
I was on FIRE FOR GOD and was going to share Jesus with everyone. Maybe I’d be a preacher, a teacher, a fisher of men, or the next Billy Graham. But a funny thing happened on the way to MY PLANS FOR GOD. He had HIS OWN PLANS for my life! His purpose for me needed to discover according to His will and timing. My spirit was willing, but my flesh was weak.
Void of understanding His Word I went back into the world interacting with my so-called friends and decided to share the Lord with them. Of course, they did not buy a word I said and had their own opinions on the entire situation. They told me God had set me free from jail, so I could leave the country and avoid prosecution.
Taking this strategic advice, I found myself leaving California and God behind and heading toward Canada to begin my eight years of running from the life He wanted for me. Meeting many like-minded people along the way and accelerating my drug intake, trying to fill the void in my life with destructive vices. But God would not play that game with me for He wanted to fill my void with His Spirit.
Reaching the Canadian border authorities denied my entry. God had turned me back for this was not His plan for my life. The Holy Spirit was chastening me, and God was still speaking to me in a still small voice. However, being such a talented sinful person; I walked across the border pursuing my hiding place.
Within a few months, they arrested and deported me. From one jail to the next, one sin to another, God was pursuing me, and I in my heart knew it. Always finding myself halfway between here and there with God, I just moved on to my next hiding place despite what might come my way.
Adam and Eve tried to cover their sins and nakedness with fig leaves, but God knew what they had done. Likewise, I can’t hide my sins from God because as Mark 4:22-23 tells us, “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
I was hiding in plain sight of God doing whatever I thought was right in my mind. He never condoned my sins or stopped loving me through my time of rebellion. He protected me so many times from myself and death, while the Holy Spirit continued to pursue me.
Once after being rob at gunpoint, for the third time, of my drugs and money, I escaped with my life only to fall asleep at the wheel driving home. My van ran into the center of the highway. There were no barriers between me and oncoming traffic, just grass. I was waking up to finding myself sitting in the passenger seat. The engine keys turned off, and my Bible was laying outside my van. Of course, my Bible went everywhere with me because I was still trying to get right with God. Divine intervention who knows. Things like this happened a lot because God is merciful, and He was always getting my attention through diverse situations in my life.
Over the years, I rededicated my life to God many times but never built a firm foundation in His Word. I was living a miserable life. The Holy Spirit was chastening me to repent and return to God. Although this kept me from enjoying my sins, it proved God’s love for me. He only pursues those He loves, and He would continue to invade my life until I surrendered.
During my life on the run from God, I experienced the reality of the following scripture: But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:22).
Once you have received Jesus as your Savior and experienced His forgiveness, nothing else will fill the void God created in humanity. This search for Eternal fulfillment will only be satisfied through growing in the grace and faith of God in pursuit of His purpose for your life.
The eight years of playing hide and seek with God continued through many cities and states. I was working on my tan eating coconuts on the beaches of Hawaii, building tractors and eating corn-on-the cobb in Iowa, to cutting my hair in New York attending the opera. While changing locations and pursuits, I still had one major problem; wherever I went, there, I was also.
Arriving in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, of all places, I spent three years planting my roots. With three steps forward and two steps back, I tried to recommit my life to Christ. I attended a Church where some people shot up heroin before singing praises to the Lord. I loved the people, but God didn’t want me worshiping there. I did find a great Church and Ministry and began to grow. Then I moved into a Church Home only to discover it was a Cult. Praise God for He gave me a way to escape…, (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Always blaming God for every dreadful thing, I brought upon myself. I was never giving Him the Glory for all the right things. Even when He saved my life or delivered me from Satan’s fiery darts, He was still calling me home, but I just kept making bad decisions.
My final rock bottom (there were a few) was in 1978, in Minnesota when I was snorting dirt from my carpet in hopes of inhaling some cocaine. With that reflection in my mind and total fear for my life, I decided to hitchhike back to California the next day. Determined to take care of my warrants, answer for my sins, reap the consequences of what I had sowed, and truly rebuild my life in Christ.
PRAISE REPORT: God delivered me from every mind-altering chemical that very night. Where I once consumed one kind or another almost every day, I have never wanted to get high since. Praise be to God for His mercy. As the story goes, if God can do this for me, He will certainly do it for you. “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed” (James 1:6).
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full…” (John 16:23-24).
During my travels back to sunny California, I found myself in a thunderstorm. Crying out to God for a ride and reminding Him of my righteous intentions. A miserable hour later, a car stopped, and the driver told me he would take me to California. Divine intervention who knows. He took me to the doorstep of my friend that led me to God. We had time to make it to Calvary Chapel, and I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ.
The next day I went to Superior Court to turn myself in expecting nothing in return from my recommitment the night before. God intervened utterly, and they dropped all charges! God is faithful, and He is the Promise Keeper. He didn’t just want to set me free from jail eight years earlier; He tried to set me free from myself forever.
The short answer is “In His Time.” We want instant answers to every question and solutions to the problems facing us in life. We try claiming God’s promises made in Scripture without understanding the principles behind them. We need patience and understanding in waiting on the Lord. Peter explains an essential truth concerning God’s timetable, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).
Therefore, God’s ways are not our ways. We ask in faith and believe that God will supply everything in His timing. Peter goes on to say, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
So, how long does it take for God to fulfill a promise? That depends on us. In my case, it took eight wasted years that should have been time seeking God’s will. Although my salvation came to me by faith through grace, I neglected to seek God first and His Kingdom. Not building my foundation on the solid Rock of His Word, my house of sand had no chance of surviving.
The book of Matthew teaches that obedience to God’s Word is the tools for building a firm foundation.“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:24-27).
Great was the fall of my house of sand because I had no guidance and no relationship with fellow Christians in my life. Therefore, I had listened to my worldly friends deciding their counsel was the best advice for me to follow. It was just more comfortable, familiar, but very destructive. As the saying goes, “Change is great, but you go first.”
During my years running from God, I added more sins and problems needing His forgiveness and grace. However, coming full circle, He delivered on His promise to protect me and deliver me from myself. He is faithful and true to His promises! One guarantee truly applies to my life because God was willing to work in me, through me, and despite of me. The Apostle Paul points this promise out to us, “Being confident of this very thing that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Summing up my journey: It was my lack of understanding of the purposes and principles of God’s promises. He is faithful to His Word and will support us as we diligently seek Him in faith. He has patience in waiting for our response to His calling on our lives. “God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance…” (2 Peter 3:9).
Through the years I have focused on building a solid foundation. Understanding how the trials of life will mature me by living out God’s purpose. Knowing God will protect me with His guidance through anything set before my path. I’ve learned how to embrace trials while resisting the temptations of life joyfully.
Absolute belief in God’s Word is mandatory for every believer. From receiving Jesus Christ, having your sins forgiven to taking part in His promises and receiving eternal life. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to man. The only way to know the truth about God is through His Word-JESUS. Scripture should always be at the threshold of every decision we face because the Bible Is God’s Mind Written Down. Jesus is reciting Himself.
Scripture is profoundly serious when it proclaims that we must repent receiving Christ as our Savior, be born again of the Spirit, transformed into His image, enter the fellowship of His suffering, and live in the power of His resurrection. Seek the kingdom of God more than anything else, do good works on earth, lay your treasures up in heaven, and to count it all joy when going through and enduring trials.
God’s Word teaches that for every promise, there are principles we must follow. These principles become the processes for applying His truth. God’s methods and provisions are the glue that holds together Hisperfect plan of eternal life. This truth helps us to discover the purpose of trials, how to overcome them, how to be obedient during them, and how to grow because of them.
God is setting up His eternal kingdom, and He uses the fiery trials of life to build our faith, mature us, lead us, deliver us, and develop character within us. Foremost, trials are one-way God’s plan can merge with His purpose for our lives.
God’s living water is the life source for everything about anything. From salvation to the armor of God, through fiery trials, prayers and dwelling in heavenly places. Knowing that the truth will set us free, we must rely on the author and finisher of our faith (Jesus) to teach us His inspired Word.