Counted Worthy 40
“Rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for His Name!”
The Day the Lord Used Me!
I grew up as one of the youngest children in a large family many, many years ago. I had many great ambitions when I was growing up. I lived in Russia and my family was from the minor aristocracy. Somewhere up the line my forebears were from the rich and landed nobility, but we were descendants of younger sons, the so-called minor lines of the family, so our belongings and means were meager. My parents had a strong faith in God, which they tried to impart to my brothers and sisters and me as we grew up.
I never understood much about God, just that He was a great Spirit that knew and saw each time we were bad, and would punish us, or help our parents to, for any wrongdoing. So I had a fear of God, but not much more. Still, I had grown up with all the stories of the Bible and I knew a great deal about the lives of the biblical heroes. I think this is what helped me to perform what I had been destined to do.
I was very interested in joining the army and helping our country. So I did, and after only a few years was made a captain, even though I was young. One day, when I was patrolling a village in the district where I was stationed, I saw something that shocked me. There in the middle of the town square was a young woman, not more than 20 years old, preaching about God. Many were mocking her and laughing, but still she preached on.
Someone brought her a child who was obviously very ill, and as she touched and prayed for him, he was healed! After this, the Orthodox priest went to the head officer of the town and told him that she was a witch and that he needed to put an end to her evildoings. They said that she was using some sort of wicked power to perform these "tricks."
The officer ordered the woman arrested and he presided over her court case. The woman was young, beautiful, and had great peace on her face during the trial; her very soul and spirit emanated peace to all. She was obviously unafraid. Fear was the greatest power that the army and church used over the people, so we were all shocked to see her so peaceful and unafraid.
Her accusers stood up one by one and berated her, telling her that she was a witch, and to prove it, she would be burned at the stake. If she was a witch and survived it, then they would put her to death by another way. There was no way out for this dear girl, I could see that. I knew that everything that was being threatened would indeed happen. She knew this too.
She explained how much she loved God, and that she'd only prayed for God to heal the child. It was not an evildoing on her part, but merely an act of God that she, as His humble servant, had requested. This angered the religious authorities even more, and they began to shout curses at her, “Witch! Blasphemous witch!” they cried. “You will be put to death today!”
At this moment, I felt something come over me that I'd never felt before. I had very little faith, so I didn't understand what was happening; it was almost as though an unseen force was moving me and I stood up.
“Sir,” I said with a loud voice as I addressed the judge, “I saw what this woman did with the child. I saw her pray, just as we have all prayed at one time or another. She had no special potions, no strange rituals; she only touched his little forehead and asked God to heal the lad.
“I say that we let her go-that we tell her to not do this again if we must-but that we let her go. She is no witch, we all know this, for we have heard much of witches and some have even seen them before. Any with eyes can behold this woman and see that she is not one of their accursed number. Let her go.”
A stunned silence fell over the whole courtroom. The officer in charge sat silently for a few moments, reading over his papers and quietly thinking about the words I had just said.
“Nikolai, you have spoken well. I agree with you: she is no witch.” Then, looking at the girl, he said, “Go now, and quiet thyself from these things, for I do not like to have to preside over petty disputes.”
Many months passed and still she preached to the people about God's love, about His mercy, and that He wasn't a God of punishment and fear as they had been taught before. She healed many others, but through her first encounter with the law and the priests, she learned wisdom and was much more careful and judicious of how and when she taught and healed.
Soon, I began to listen to her words too, and after a time we married and spent our lives working together, traveling from town to town telling of God's love and mercy, healing the sick and caring for those who needed our love, comfort, and help. It was a sad time in our land, with many hardships, trials, and difficulties, and we knew that God had called us to bring life to the dying, comfort to those who had lost much, and hope to those whose hope had faded.
We lived blessed lives, and oh, how many times I thanked God for filling me-the weak and quiet-spoken vessel that I am-with His power to plead that day for the life of the woman who would be my wife and bring God's love to my heart, and a greater purpose to my life.
* * *
(Jesus:) This is an example of how I can use others to help you. I'm not limited in the ways I can save My children, and in many cases, I will use “natural” means, such as a defender. This is an encouraging example of such a situation.
Copyright © 2005 by The Family International
End of file.