A few years ago I attended a
fiftieth anniversary celebration at a church I once served as youth
pastor. I was surprised to see how much and how little had changed in
those fifteen years since serving there. I arrived just after the
opening worship had begun, and quietly sat near the back of the church.
A few old-timers stared inquisitively at me from the other side of the
sanctuary, and then recognition soon ignited smiles on their faces,
along with a quick nod or wave. After worship, testimonies were called
for and one man bolted to his feet. There was something hauntingly
familiar about him, but I couldn’t quite place him.
I leaned forward to hear him
better. “I gave my life to Jesus, right here in Pastor David’s office
nearly fifteen years ago, and today I am one of the elders.” There was
a round of cheers and hearty amens. My jaw dropped open. He was talking
about me. Then it all rushed back to me.
A daughter came to one of our
youth group events, and quickly became one of the regulars. I always
admired her sweet, fun-loving spirit. Then one night she came early,
her face downcast. “Please pray. My dad was in a car accident and he is
in a lot of pain.” We gathered around her and prayed with all of our
Unfortunately, as the weeks
passed, her dad seemed to get worse. Unable to work, the family faced
terrible hardships. About that time her sister started coming, too.
Each week they wore their horrified expressions until we could once
again lift their dad in prayer. Then, as the weeks turned to months,
their family’s circumstances went from bad to worse, ever downward. One
night the girls announced that they were going to lose their home. My
heart broke for them.
I had never met their dad, and I
had only glimpsed their mom in the parking lot as she would drop off
her daughters then later return for them. That night I ended youth
group a few minutes early so I could make sure I got to meet their mom.
The girls agreed to introduce me. When I went out to the parking lot,
Mom was already there. She bore the same hopelessly doomed expression
that her daughter’s wore.
I leaned over, and Mom rolled
down the window. “Hi, I’m Pastor David, and I am happy to finally meet
you. We love your daughters and have been heartbroken by all that your
family has been through. I want you to know that you are not alone.
This is your church, too. Would it be okay for us to have a little
prayer together right now?” Tears in her eyes, she took my hand and we
bowed our heads and prayed. She gave her heart to the Lord right then.
Every week after that, Mom came
looking for prayer. Those parking lot prayer times became like a
lifeline to her. Born in the fire of their hardship was a new faith
that was learning how to trust amid impossible circumstances. Soon God
began answering prayers. Though Dad had only grown worse physically,
little miracles kept happening in their finances and in their family.
Mom and those girls were fast becoming prayer warriors. It was
Then one day, Mom asked if she
could bring her husband to my office for prayer. “He is in so much
pain, I don’t know if he can make it into your office.” I told her that
I would be happy to come to them if it would help, but that I also had
a very special chair everyone with a bad back seemed to fall in love
On the day of the appointment,
they arrived right on time. One look told me that this man was in
tremendous pain. It took several minutes to help him out of the car,
and shuffle one inch at a time to my office. Once inside, I showed him
to my special chair. He eyed it dubiously, and then with both his wife
and I helping, he slowly lowered himself. His body shook and his face
beaded with sweat. He looked as if he might pass out from the pain.
Once he was finally seated, some
of the pained expression began to melt. After a minute, he opened his
eyes. “This is the first time I have been able to sit in months. I love
I couldn’t help but grin. “Then
it is yours. I will arrange for it to be delivered to your house as
soon as we are finished here. I believe Jesus would want you to have
it. I also want you to know that we serve a powerful God, who is able
to heal your body—right here, right now.”
For the next hour I listened
carefully as he and then his wife told me how their lives continued to
spiral ever downward: the accident, the disabling pain, loss of income,
soaring medical bills, and the final crushing blow that seemingly had
their whole family teetering over the edge of the precipice—losing
their home. We all cried a little as they shared what they had been
When they were finished, I
shared stories of how I had seen God provide in the midst of
circumstances even darker than their own. As they listened, I could see
the faith begin to swell in his wife’s countenance. She may have been
new to her walk with God, but the hardship forced her to grow like
nothing else can. Her husband seemed eager to believe, but was still
doubtful that God would do this for him. If life has taught me
anything, it is that it is one thing to believe that God loves other
people, but something else entirely to accept that God has that same
love for us.
We prayed, and God met us in a
powerful way. I fully expected the man to leap out of his chair,
completely healed. “How do you feel?”
Gingerly, he tried twisting a
few inches in each direction. A look of surprise lifted his brows. “I
feel a little better. Not completely healed, but better. And I could
feel the power of God surge through me as we prayed. I have never
experienced anything like that ever before. It was amazing!”
His wife and I shared a look.
Tears of joy ran down her face. God had done something powerful, and
both of us knew it. He took his time, but he stood with very little
help from his wife or I. His walk to the car was also under his own
power. Gone were the shuffling baby steps he arrived with. I could tell
he was still in considerable pain, but nothing like he had been in
before we prayed. I am happy to say that over the next few days, all of
his pain went away. God healed him completely.
Luke 4:18–19 says, “The Spirit
of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to
the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and
recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim
the year of the Lord’s favor” (NIV).
For most writers of
inspirational fiction, there are few things more satisfying than to
hear from readers that our novels have touched their lives in some
profound way. They usually share about their hardships and how the
novel or perhaps a character or scene helped to unlock a chain that
held their hearts bound in turmoil for years. Other readers express
heartfelt thanks for how the novel helped to reignite their faith, or
perhaps to introduce them to the Lord Jesus for the first time.
The same power of God that is at
work in the pulpits and prayer altars of our churches is at work in the
inspirational novels we write. As with this miraculous true-life story,
the lives of readers are similarly being uplifted and even transformed
by the power of God. Writing life-transforming fiction is a ministry
and a calling all its own. Like any ministry, it requires that our
hearts be fully yielded to our Master. Prayer is important, too. I know
I love to pray for my readers every day. I’m sure you do too. It makes
Until next month, may God bless
all you do and write for Him.