[by Ken Zerbin] Sometimes our journey of faith meets some real challenges when we try to measure our faith. I would like to encourage fellow believers to keep trusting the Lord and His Word, no matter how strong or weak we might feel our faith is. Remember…it is Who we are putting our trust in that is important…it’s not about the “quality” of our trust.
Several summers ago I was at one of my lowest spiritual points of my life. We had gathered a number of our paid and volunteer staff from the church for a training event. The instructor did a great job, but as the day’s training progressed, I couldn’t help but notice two things about him. He made several comments about being in a church doing this kind of training. His comments seemed to be a cry for spiritual attention.
I also noticed how this high energy personality was wearing down quickly over the course of the day, and at the end how tired he seemed to be. The Lord prompted me to help him carry out his teaching materials and equipment to his vehicle in the parking lot. Several of our congregation members pitched in and we quickly accomplished our goal. The instructor again commented how unusual this was, because in most of his instructional settings, no one would offer to help in this way.
When we arrived at his vehicle and loaded his equipment, he stopped, and opened his heart to us. He shared how he was in a battle with cancer for his life. At that point the Lord prompted me once again, this time to ask if we could pray for him.
Now you have to understand, when I mention the Lord’s prompting, although it may sound real spiritual, I was feeling anything but “spiritual” that day. It probably had been weeks since I had prayed or read my Bible. When the thought to pray for this man crossed my mind, I reluctantly opened my mouth. It was the last thing that I felt I was “qualified” to do at that time.
To make things even more interesting, the instructor thanked me for my offer and was about to get in his vehicle. I then realized that he understood that my offer was to pray in my own prayer time. I had to stop him and clarify that I was offering to pray for him right then and there, in the middle of the parking lot. Although the idea seemed strange to him, his hesitation quickly melted into an eager acceptance.
We prayed a simple prayer of blessing and healing for him…a prayer that only took a few moments. At the close of our prayer, I looked up at a tear-stained face that reflected joy and thankfulness. We said our goodbyes, and went our separate ways.
A few days later I had a voice mail from the instructor. The tone of his voice reflected excitement and hope. He wanted me to know that something tangible had happened that moment in the parking lot. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he wanted me to know.
A week later I received another call, and an invitation to have supper together. During our meal, he shared how he had been diagnosed with cancer, and after a CAT scan which confirmed its presence, had undergone a series of treatments meant to push the cancer into remission. He had been scheduled to start a second series of treatments the week after we had prayed together. However, when they did a second CAT scan to determine the strategy for the treatments, the scan revealed that the cancer was gone, much to everyone’s amazement!
He was SO excited about what the Lord had done for him!
All of this spoke to me about God’s sovereignty, His mercy, His power, and His desire to use us when we are willing and positioned to be His partners. I may have been at a spiritual low point, but it helped me realize it’s not about how “spiritual” I am, but simply how willing I am to be used as His servant. It spoke to me about His will…His plan…which is above our understanding.
I recently read the story in John 5 where Jesus healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. It struck me that the scriptures makes a note of the fact that the porch areas around the pool were FILLED with the blind, lame and ill. Yet Jesus hears the Father saying He was to minister to this one lame man. God had a plan for that day and for that man, and Jesus was the willing Servant who listened to the voice of the Father, and in His obedience He released the power of God.
If you are born again of the Spirit of God, you have the capability to hear from the Father, and the ability to obey His voice in whatever He asks. When you do so, you have the potential to become the vessel (of clay as it is) of the power of God.
Ken has been on staff and the eldership team at a local church in Regina since 1987. He presently serves in administrative duties of the church, together with his wife. They have 3 married children and one child still living at home.