Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
Blaise Pascal [1623-1662] (the French genius who
in his brief lifetime made numerous world-changing discoveries) knew there was much, much
more (last name sometimes spelt as paschal...a word meaning "of or pertaining to the
Namesake: His namesake may have been St.
Blaise, a Jesus follower & probably a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred
under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century. Many Catholics might remember Saint
Blaise's feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that took place on this day. Two
candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is
said. Saint Blaise's protection of those with throat troubles apparently comes from a legend
that a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The boy was about to
die when Saint Blaise (God acting through St. Blaise) healed
Blaise Pascal grew up in Paris, schooled at home
by his father. He showed early promise: at age eight he wrote his first scientific paper; at
16 he wrote a mathematical essay that broke new ground in the field of
When he was 19, Pascal invented a calculating
"machine", a forerunner of modern computers. At 23, he made major discoveries in physics and
proved the existence of the vacuum. This paved the way for hypodermic syringes, barometers,
and hydraulic devices. Pascal also came up with the mathematical theory of probability and
helped shape the field of calculus.
Beginning in his teen years, he often suffered
great pain in his legs; as an adult he became partially crippled. One night, unable to sleep
due to the pain, he arose and wrote down the solution to a problem that advanced a very
difficult area of mathematics.
Yet, though Pascal knew very well the power of the
mind and the potential of human reason, he also knew that people cannot solve the deepest
mysteries and needs of life with their minds alone. He understood that mankind is at the same
time both very great and also very flawed.
Through various personal trials, Pascal became
more and more a religious man. He was much affected when his niece was miraculously healed
(by God working through someone) of a tumor or stubborn disease. After he was nearly killed
in a carriage accident, he was nearly instantly & deeply converted in 1654 (age 31)
to a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.
The day on which he found peace with God was so
important to him that he wrote a reminder of it on parchment and sewed it into the lining of
his coat. He kept this coat for the rest of his life, and the note was found there when he
died at age 39.
In it he told how (at age 31) at "...about half
past ten in the evening until about half past twelve, fire". The God that he had encountered
was "the God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob," and "not of the philosophers and
scholars." He ended by writing, "I will not forget thy word."
For the next eight years, he devoted his life to
jotting down "thoughts"...his writing, Pensees...his defense of the Christian faith.
The book can be found on-line; and Dr. Kenneth Boa has produced a CD commentary that can be
separately obtained (The Great Books Audio CD Series).
In 1662, from the room where he lay painfully
dying, Pascal observed the plight of the poor in the streets, having to trudge long distances
while the rich comfortably rode. One of his last great ideas was the bus...public
transportation. Among the many quotable quotes of this greatest of all French thinkers is,
"There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created
thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus."
He also constructed a wager as to the truth of God
& Christianity called Pascal's wager: Either Christianity is true or it's false.
If you bet that it's true, and you believe in God and submit to Him, then if it IS true,
you've gained God, heaven, and everything else. If it's false, you've lost nothing, but
you've had a good life marked by peace and the illusion that ultimately, everything makes
sense. If you bet that Christianity is not true, and it's false, you've lost nothing. But if
you bet that it's false, and it turns out to be true, you've lost everything and you get to
spend eternity in hell.
His wager is an attempt to say to doubters that
belief in Jesus is a can't-lose situation...if Jesus is a lie (the "bet" for Jesus is lost),
yet you live according to His teaching, you can't help but live a "good" present life; and
whatever atheists believe will come to pass eternally. If the bet for Jesus is won (Jesus
believers/followers actually do have hold of THE TRUTH), then you get the "good" current life
AND eternal dwelling with God when you die. Since you get a good current life by following
Jesus (whether the facts of Jesus are true or false), then it only make sense to follow
Then I would add: the only true power in life
comes with true Jesus belief: Jesus as savior...which belief causes the incoming of the Holy
Spirit into that Jesus believer & potentially empowering the truly fulfilled life &
peace-filled life of the true Jesus believer.
***give me your comments about this
(posted 28 December 2002; latest update 19 January
You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now