A moving story of a Christian who experienced suffering comes from the pen of John Wimber, told in an article in Christianity Today. Wimber has a ministry that has touched thousands of people around the world. He tells of a Christian man whose life was completely reshaped by personal tragedy.
One afternoon, while baby-sitting for a family a few houses from his home, this man’s teenage daughter was brutally murdered by a young man who attempted to rape her. At the end of the day, utterly desolate, the father went back to his house and gathered his family together to pray. He bowed his head and said, “Father, I don’t understand. But I trust you.”
Over the months and years that followed, he experienced a profound motivation to make Christ known. The story of his daughter’s murder, the pursuit of her killer, the trial, and the father’s forgiveness of the young man were front-page news for months in the Los Angeles area. People knew about him and were willing to listen to him. Through his testimony to Christ, hundreds of people came to faith in Jesus.
Some years later, his 22-year-old only son who had just graduated from college – a wonderful Christian, a fine athlete, a brilliant student – was in an auto accident and his skull was crushed. Today this father cares for his big, handsome boy, who functions with significant handicaps and must be watched at all times. However, the mysterious working of God’s purposes, which would have driven many into unbelief, has driven this man on. He continued to pray, “Father, I don’t understand, but I trust you.” He continues to lead people to Christ. Wimber says:
I am one of them. One evening years ago I knelt in this man’s living room, and he prayed for me as I turned my life over to Christ. Something that was in this man’s life was placed on me…God blessed me and gave me great opportunity. I carry in my being the mantle that was passed on to me by this man.
I am sure that if I were designing a programme to prepare an evangelist, I would never come up with anything like that…But God’s action in this man’s life produced a broken and contrite heart, and a highly motivated personality. He went out and has done the job the Lord gave him from that day forth.
If we are going to pursue the things of the Lord, we will often not understand what he is doing…As my friend always used to tell me, “Sometimes God crushes a petal to bring out its essence.” Sometimes he offends our minds to reveal our hearts.