‘On the outside I was fine but on the inside I knew things weren’t right,’ Dr Ainsley Chalmers says
As ugly as Dr Ainsley Chalmers found cancer to be in his medical research and personal life, something sicker tormented him until he made the decision to turn his life around.
With qualifications from the University of Adelaide and Flinders University and around 100 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of cancer, immunity and medical biochemistry, the retired Ph.D biochemist found considerable success during his time in research.
Yet amid the hours of studies and stress Ainsley admits he felt his life was "like a lost cause".
"I was leading a tormented life but too proud to admit it," Ainsley says. Despite growing up with a religious background, he adds, "My spiritual life was dead, non-existent."
On the outside things seemed perfect with a beautiful wife, three daughters and a prestigious position as a principal medical scientist in a major hospital and university research lab.
On the inside, however, Ainsley was clouded in doubt as to what he truly believed and was influenced by his colleagues' ideas of atheistic humanism and his association with Ouija board games.
"In 1974 I gave up going to church because I just couldn't feel the reality of God and two years later I left my family and went off with another married woman for six months," he confesses.
A year later Dr Chalmer's wife Denise committed her life to Jesus and that same month introduced her husband to a pastor named Bob.
"I thought he was weird but he prayed with me and a small area of peace entered my tormented condition," he recalls.
Although he had done a lot of good through his research, Ainsley knew that there was only one cure for the sin in his own life and that was to pray for God's forgiveness and accept the fact that Jesus had made a way for him to have a restored relationship with God.
Ainsley prayed with pastor Bob to accept Jesus as his Saviour, just as his wife had done, but he was unsure about whether he wanted Jesus to be the King over his life.
"I immediately returned to my wife Denise and girls, all of whom graciously had me back, but I didn't want any church stuff in my life," he says.
"A few days later I began feeling tormented inside again and even suicidal. That was when a Christian man named Rudi ministered to me. At this time I had a revelation that Satan had been trying to destroy my life. I also came to realise deep in my spirit that Jesus Christ really is the way, the truth and the life and without Him in my life I would very soon be a dead man both physically and spiritually."
It finally made sense to him that Jesus was the only one who could transform his life and give it meaning, purpose and hope.
"Once I gave Jesus control over my life, the desire for alcohol, sexual immorality, lying and suicide were no longer issues in my life because God completely removed them," he explains.
Hard times still ensued but Ainsley had new reason to endure them.
"Denise died of cancer in 1991 and I suffered huge guilt," he says sadly.
"I remarried in 1996 but we sadly divorced in 2001 and I lost another beautiful woman in my life. Despite all this, God strengthened me through this time."
He was often challenged to defend his faith in God in his scien-tific field of work which brought many more doubts and questions to the surface.
"Using my scientific knowledge I started to probe the Word of God over the next few years," he recalls.
"To cut a long story short I am now convinced that the Bible is absolute truth and everything now makes complete sense to me.
The Bible shows that our Creator is Jesus Christ. The whole of creation from the huge universe to our tiny cells testifies to the existence of our Creator God. I also realised that the story of creation to Noah's flood in the first few chapters of Genesis could be taken literally and were consistent with scientific findings.
"I went from being a theistic evolutionist to a young earth creationist. This belief is now foundational to my Christian faith."
Although he has lectured many times on how faith and science can exist perfectly together, the real evidence of God lies in Ainsley's transformation from within.
"My life after becoming a Christian has been wonderful despite some major setbacks," he explains.
"I could never have changed this dramatically on my own. Everything, my conversion and research findings, I give the glory to God as He did it all. All I did was say "Yes" to Him. I could not live without my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He is everything good and wonderful in this life and I love Him dearly."