The career came to an end - then God stepped in
Former national team soccer player Peter Rasmussen shares how he came to faith
By Peter Rasmussen, age 52, entrepeneur, Aalborg
I grew up in a non-Christian home where Jesus wasn’t really a topic. I had my first encounter with Christianity when I was 7-8 years old and slept over at a friend’s house. We were about to go to sleep, when my friend began to pray the Lord’s prayer. I had never heard this before. It got me curious, and after that, I learned how to fully recite the Lord’s prayer, and from then on began to pray this prayer every night, without giving much thought to the content. But it provided me with a great sense of security.
My next encounter with Christianity was in school, when I was about 13-14 years old, and we had Christianity as a subject. There, a teacher gave me the New Testament, and I began to read it. It was amazing to read about Jesus, and could bring tears to my eyes, but I still lived a worldly everyday life. But I always had the New Testament next to my bed.
I became good at soccer and joined the national team. After some time, my whole identity revolved around soccer. There were many people that looked up to me and admired and commended me as a soccer player, and many people wanted to be my friends. I felt untouchable, and above everyone else. Everything I did seemed to go right. But earthly things fade away, and my life as a soccer player started to go downhill. And suddenly there was no more admiration and commendation, but a lot of criticism, and I stopped playing soccer.
My identity was now gone, because I had built it up around the idea of Peter, the soccer player. I felt totally inadequate when I was together with other people, and my level of self-esteem was very low. It developed into a great fear of people, and I began to isolate myself more and more. At this time, I was about 35 years old, and felt very low. Then I started to call upon and pray intensely to Jesus. Why did I go to Jesus, when everything was at its lowest? I think, that it was because of the things that had been sown in me – the Lord’s prayer and having read the New Testament. And right there, when I needed Him the most, God spoke to me, and told me that I needed to serve Him and turn away from my sinful life – because that would free me out of the terrible situation, I had brought myself into.
This experience, which to me was something amazing, made me begin to study the Bible thoroughly and to go to Church. My fear of people gradually disappeared, and I became more extrovert and started to feel better. But unfortunately, I didn’t repent fully towards God, so I slowly started to slip back into my old existence, even though I persistently tried to save myself through my own good deeds, but always falling back into the same old sins.
In April of 2013, having now become 46 years old, luckily, another amazing thing happened. During almost two years following up to this, I had had a lot of pain in my hip and had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. One night, before going to sleep, I read a testimony on a Christian webpage about someone having been healed from pains in the hip through the laying on of hands. I then tried placing my own hands on the hip, and I prayed to Jesus to have the pain go away, and immediately I felt a change in my hip. The pain left immediately, and I haven’t had pain in that hip ever since. That experience became a landmark for me, regarding my faith in Jesus. Now I have no more doubt that Jesus Christ is the truth and the meaning of life, at that Jesus lives. If not, how could these, to me so wonderful things, have happened?
I have always searched the meaning of life and have read book about all sorts of things within science, different religions and other things. But I can only make sense of life when I read the Bible, and I see the things that the Bible speaks about being confirmed in my everyday life. Everything else falls to the ground and doesn’t hold water – or new things show up, that don’t hold water either.
The last experience with the hip has made me repent toward Jesus, and on May 31st, 2013, I was baptized in water and received the Holy Spirit as a gift. It was an amazing experience to be baptized, and it gives me the power to live a totally different kind of life today. A life with Jesus as my Lord, and it has given me so many blessings.
I thank God, that He has called me back to Him.
# The Holy Spirit
Indescribable joy. The deepest sense of peace.
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