I was listening to a radio interview with Steve Ray the other day, and he mentioned that for many years he was a lukewarm Christian, until he had a “personal encounter with Jesus Christ” that changed his life and brough him back to faith in a big way.
I realized that I’ve heard this phrase used all my life, yet I’m not sure what it means. I understand encountering Jesus as a general term — e.g. I feel that I’ve seen and felt his presence many times in the actions of saintly people, in prayer, in the Eucharist, etc. — but it’s often used to describe a single, powerful, life-changing experience, as in “I was on the wrong path but turned my life around after I had a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ”. From what I can gather these events typically don’t involve hearing the voice of God or seeing a great vision, so I can’t figure out what exactly they are.
For some reason this concept has really piqued my interest, so I would love to hear any thoughts on this. Also, if it’s not too personal, I’d be honored if anyone would share his or her own story of a personal encounter with Christ.