Christian apologist and bestselling author Lee Strobel has dedicated his life to proving the claims of Christianity are true. After more than 30 years, he couldn’t imagine anything that would make him question his own faith. Then at 59, an unlikely cascade of medical issues brought him to the edge of death and he got a glimpse of life without God.
Lee says, “There was such a sense of despair and such a sense that if God had abandoned me, then truly there is no hope. And in my mind I was convinced that He walked the other way.”
It started when Lee developed complications following a routine heart procedure. But they were undetected, and his kidneys began shutting down. It was also affecting his mind.
“It was over a period of time that I was getting increasingly irrational and mentally confused,” Lee recalls. “I started to become paranoid. I imagined my wife was leaving me, my children were leaving me, my friends were leaving me. All these terrible things were befalling me, in my mind. Emotionally I was going through them just like they were really happening.”
Then it got worse when Lee had an allergic reaction to some medication he took for a problem with his voice. The episodes intensified. One was especially vivid.
Lee remembers, “I started to hallucinate. I started to descend into hell in my mind. The room got cold and clammy and dark. I began to see demons. I was unable to move. I looked up at the clock and the clock was going backwards. The emotion was, ‘this is forever. There is no escape. There is no hope. There is no relief. This is what forever will be like.’ When you emotionally come to that place, you are just consumed by fear, by dread, by anxiety. I wish I could say my automatic reaction was to seek after God. The truth is, I had the opposite reaction. I believed that God had walked away from me and that I was no longer His son.”
The hallucination ended, but Lee’s health and mind continued to slip. A few days later, his wife found him unconscious.
“I woke up and there was a doctor there and he looked at me and he said, ‘you’re one step away from a coma, two steps away from dying.’”
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SOURCE: The 700 Club