“Without faith / belief / trust, no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that He is real and that He rewards those who truly want to find Him.” Hebrews 11:6
Recently I listened to the testimony of a gentleman (Pierre) who had immigrated to Canada from South Africa. I’ve only known him since August, but I can see he is a God-fearing, bible believing, Jesus-trusting believer. His testimony about his faith in God was touching and encouraging. It reminded me that faith will compel us to invite God into our lives daily and maintain a relationship with Him through prayer.
Pierre’s testimony started in Cameroon, where, as a 16-year-old, he was robbed and all his assets stolen; he made sandals from scrap rubber. He decided he must leave Cameroon to work, and so, with a friend, he went on foot. In pursuit of this new life, they had walked and hitchhiked thousand of kilometres, working along the way. They eventually found steady, backbreaking work in Zimbabwe making bricks out of the mud. Pierre lost his friend to drugs and felt it was time to move on. He had been saving money for a flight to Cape Town, South Africa but was robbed again. Through the mercy and grace of a local businessman, he went to college to learn a trade, shipbuilding. He was offered a job in Cape Town and was flown there by the company. Pierre met his wife in Cape Town and started a family. For the first time in a long time, Pierre felt he was looking at God’s blessing from a mountaintop view.
During his testimony, Pierre spoke of His faith in God, who he believed would be with him no matter what, both on the mountains and valleys. While in Cape Town, he was offered a two-year contract in Miramichi, New Brunswick, in the shipbuilding industry. He moved to Canada last August. His wife and children were supposed to accompany him, but a bureaucratic glitch prevented this. His testimony contained much more about the ups and downs of his journey, and he gave example after example of how God stepped in when he was at a low point. Pierre, ended his testimony by saying that his faith in God strengthened during his journey.
Last Sunday, after service, I saw he was a little upset, so we talked. He had been laid off on Friday; this was a complete surprise, especially since he had been promoted only a week earlier. I admit my initial thoughts were, “Why God.” We talked, cried, and then prayed. We agreed to get together later to talk about the next steps, which included visiting the immigration office to try to prevent his deportation (he was short several months of receiving Permanent Residence status). We ended our prayer, asking for peace and restating our trust in God.
We met on Monday, and before I could speak, he excitedly explained he was called by the president of another shipbuilding firm who offered him employment in Moncton or different places in Quebec. Pierre is a skilled worker specializing in a rare process that not many have in Canada. The owner knew of Pierre’s work ethic and had heard about him being dismissed. This job offer prevents his residency status from being affected, and he can bring his family here soon. Praise God.
Too often when faced with seemingly difficult tasks or hardships, people close in on themselves and put their trust in their ability to fix the issues. In the end, there may be something they will have to do to lessen the problem. But too often, people begin to worry, especially when they can’t figure out what to do. They shy away from seeking the advice of others. They avoid prayer until they weigh the pros and cons of talking with God because they want a quick fix, not a conversation which may suggest they need to change themselves or the hole will get deeper.
We can pray for protection, forgiveness, guidance, understanding, and peace. We can express our love, our gratitude, our needs, our worries, and our fears. We should pray boldly and be generous with our prayers for others.
Trust, believe and have faith that God will hear your prayers and respond. Listen and watch for ways that God may be speaking to you and when your prayers are answered, remember to thank God.