January 22, 2017 By Qian Jiawen
Lehman was a proud atheist. He’d cruised through medical school. He ran a profitable practice, had a wife and two kids. Despite the accouterments of success, contentment eluded him.
“It was a combination of you’re sad, you’re empty. At the same time you’re angry, you’re frustrated because you’re like, ‘Why? What’s wrong with me? Why am I not fulfilled? Why don’t I feel like I have achieved what I worked my whole life for?’” he explained.
Dr. Lehman tried to mask what he was feeling inside. “You’re embarrassed. You’re not going to tell anyone. You keep it inside. So what you wind up doing is taking it out on other people.”
Lehman “took it out” on his wife and family.
“He was good but he had a short fuse,” his wife Ruth told OMG. “He was arrogant. He was always right.”
If he was irritable with his family, he was even more annoyed with his Christian neighbors, because he thought their lifestyle didn’t line up with the Bible.
Setting out to expose his neighbor’s hypocrisy, he began to arm himself with ammunition by reading the Bible. He would confront their inconsistencies with their own book.
Instead the power of the Word confronted him. He was dumbfounded by the Gospels’ claim that Jesus was God in the flesh. “That quickly got my attention because I realized if that did happen, it was the most important event in history,” he said. “I forgot about the neighbors and set out to find out if this really happened.”
After weeks of researching, he realized everything about Christianity hinged on the resurrection.
As a doctor, he tried to rule out options, weighing hypotheses that could explain away the resurrection: “The apostles stole the body. It was a hallucination,” he considered.
After carefully examining the theories of the naysayers he came to a startling conclusion. “None of them were credible. The only thing that could make sense with the historical facts of the way it was set up with the Roman guards was that the tomb was empty and He actually rose.”
He was impressed by Luke, a fellow doctor. Doctors were trained to dismiss “superstitious miracles” and identify scientific causes. But here was a doctor validating the miracles of Jesus.
The clincher was Paul, who started as a Jewish persecutor of the early church but wound up being the biggest proponent of the faith.
“He’s killing Christians. He has nothing to gain. What in the world could make this guy go and be the greatest evangelist ever?” Lehman said. “There was only one explanation and that was that he saw the risen Lord Jesus Christ. When I looked at the evidence and I looked at these guys and their changed lives, I said, ‘I have to believe it.’”
One day, he finished a medical consultation with his usual “Do you have any questions?”
The walk-in patient stared at him and asked: “Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as you personal Savior?”
He was aghast. “I about passed out,” he said. “Why was he asking me this? Who is this guy? I bolted out of the room because I didn’t know what to do.”
For two days, he pondered the strange occurrence.
“There were things in my life I wanted to change, the anger and the frustration. But I didn’t have the power to change,” he said. “It kind of all culminated with me breaking down and crying and asking God to forgive me. I repented of my sins and asked Him to change me.”
He prayed alone at home to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The next morning, he felt an inexplicable and unaccustomed tranquility.
“I was completely peaceful,” he said. “Something was really different. I had been changed.”
At first, he wasn’t sure what was going on and even checked to see if his antihistamines had been changed to a brand that would produce the peacefulness. But, no, the antihistamines were the same.
Finally, he believed in miracles!
“Since the day I was saved, I’ve never felt alone. I’ve never felt empty. I’ve never felt all that discontentment and stuff.”
His wife, Ruth, is happy with the change. “I feel like I’ve got a new husband.”
Once a scoffer, Lehman is now a steadfast believer.
“Every other religion is man seeking God. Christianity is God seeking man. The real test of Christianity is you call on Him, you put Him to the test, He’s not just going to forgive your sins, He’s going to show you so that you know that it’s true. That’s the big difference.”
Qian Jiawen is a foreign exchange student at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica.