We all have our stories of defining moments in our lives, personal experiences that shaped who we are and how we have come to see and understand the nature of God. Jacob Cook travels with our team, speaking and ministering to those who join us for our Worship Nights. He is also the #1 proud supporter of his wife, Amanda Cook, and is a much-loved member of our Bethel Music family. Read Jacob’s encounter as he describes the pivotal moments that have brought him to this point on his journey as a believer and as a son.
My Dancing Miracle:
This is a story about how worship saved my life, about how it daily saves me from myself, but most of all, it’s about how I am only truly safe IN worship. It’s a story about my miracle, a gift to me from my Father. Although this particular gift was wild and supernatural, it has given me eyes to see the infinite little miracles that God shows us moment to moment, often hidden in obscurity and spread thin throughout the daily and the mundane. It is almost as if these tiny miracles are designed by Him in a way that you might miss them if you are not seeking, so that it takes a measure of faith to fully find them.
Until this encounter with my Father God and His Holiness, the thought of a touch from God was nothing but a glorious intangible, reserved for mystics, monks and the nearly dead. Let me start by sharing two earlier encounters so as to convey my inexperience with these sort of face-to-face meetings with God.
Intro to Holy Spirit:
I was seven years old, reading science comics in my cubicle about the six days of creation. Something about the color and scope of all that God did in that week shook my little frame. And I was struck by a beautiful terror at the size of my Creator. At that moment I think He wanted to introduce Himself as a word more intimate than Creator. In my imagination, He showed me a timeline like you’d see in a history book where there were only two marks on the line. One for The Beginning and one for The End. Then I saw the parameters of this Mighty Man stretch inside and outside this neat little line, with no heed to its limitations. Like trying to capture blinding light in a glass box, I could see that He always was and He always would be. I can say truthfully to you that my 7-year-old spirit could comprehend the magnitude of God. Then I started applying logic to quantify this vision, and just as quickly as it came, like vapor in my hand, it dissipated. I was left with the residue on my fingers and an ache in my little heart for a reunion with this Person.
Baptism of Love:
It wasn’t until seven years later at age 14 that I felt Him again. An itinerant minister came to my school chapel to speak about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and of FIRE! The language and anointing of this man was so familiar, I felt that he must know my Friend. The Friend I had met in that cubicle years earlier and had long since been separated from. We asked Holy Spirit to come, and at that moment my desperation outweighed my cynicism so He returned. The very marrow of my bones became a conductor for a surge of power from the source of ALL energy. As if my body realized that it had always been in a battle with gravity and was surrendering. I crumpled like spaghetti noodles bending their ridged limbs into the bubbling warmth of water. Now weightless and weeping giddily on the 1980’s church carpet, I was unraveled like a ball of yarn rolling down a hill. Enough tears soaked the ground to empty my sinuses of their pressure and my brain of ALL anxieties. After the healing came the joy. I knew this would never abandon me and I finally saw how small I was in the hands of the One who formed the world.
After another seven years and the absence of that incomprehensible peace, I found myself in drug rehabilitation. I had tried every synthetic substance that science could offer in order to emulate that divine euphoria. Like a lovestruck lab rat, I had explored every type of human intimacy to imitate the embrace I once felt. Only then did I run to the wilderness to find my Beloved. There I was, living on a farm in rural British Columbia with 70 other lost boys waiting to be adopted. Each day we would worship and I practiced the Christian song and dance ritual. Eyes closed to look solemn, eyes open to check the lyrics, one hand up to maintain some dignity, lip-synch to seem spiritual, and clap if you need help staying awake. But then my routine was interrupted by my sweet Father. THERE HE WAS AGAIN! He pulled me onto His lap, wrapped me up and restored my innocence, and then He showed me my past and future on the shoulders of the bleeding Christ. All I could do was bawl “thank you, thank you”, and when words failed me, I spoke in a tongue that only He knew. Once this spiritual language reached its end, I began to spin, my body moving sporadically and gracefully in a conversation that had been muted until now. Each day, I would spin and dance an offering to my Rescuer. I would sweat and sing as He revealed Himself to me. The dance would intensify and I would move until the skin on my heels fell off. Despite the blisters, I wasn’t prepared to stop. I couldn’t stand seven more years of silence. So I danced, and daily my beloved Friend healed my feet and I would wake with the reminder of His healing Peace.
I imagine that during those years of silence, my Lord missed me more than I could ever miss Him. He valued my offering so much that He was willing to alter the physical laws of the world simply to meet with me and kiss His treasured son.