(PERSONAL TESTIMONY ALERT)
Today, I need to share with you a very personal thing. It just happened yesterday, and it wasn’t until this morning that I realized the fullness of what God had done. And it’s something I need to tell you, because it glorifies the Lord and should encourage you, in whatever you’re facing.
By way of backstory, I’ve spent much of my life in some sort of communications position. Twenty-five years in radio and TV (not counting the broadcasting “clubs” in university and three years of trying to make it as a writer and actor), followed by seven years as a media relations person at TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority; then the past six years and counting as a freelance consultant.
Lately, I’ve been bugged by thoughts that I wasn’t that good at any of that. Despite the fact that I was part of the top-rated morning show in Victoria for thirteen years, that superiors at TransLink credited me with helping push the organization’s customer-approval rating to its highest level in years and wrote glowing references for me, whenever I’ve thought of those careers, I’ve thought of the times I’d come a cropper, said the wrong thing and more or less failed to perform.
I tried to get back into radio after I left TransLink, but the business had changed so much in the seven years I was out of it, it was a relief when they handed me my hat before the three-month probation was up. (It was also telling when I was asked, during an interview for a move to a full-time slot, if being a Christian would affect my news judgment. With others, a question like that might have meant a quick ticket to the Human Rights Tribunal; with me, it was confirmation of suspicions.)
We didn’t “leave radio”. Radio left us.— Red Robinson, Hall of Fame Radio Personality
What does this have to do with God?
I’m getting to that.
One thing I have had — and still have — is my work as a sports announcer. You know, the disembodied voice in the stadium or arena. Lots of fun, and an opportunity to put a bit of performance into my work, but I was starting to wonder if that was all I had.
It never occurred to me, that this was the devil, trying to drag me down.
Then, a week ago, I got an email out of the blue from a fellow I’d done some work with in media training, that is, training people who would have to face reporters or interviewers. Would I be available for a one-day training session in Vancouver?
Of course I would.
Long story short (too late!), I did the training. One-on-one, preparing a woman to face a news conference. I daresay, she came out of the training confident, looking earnest and authoritative, and sticking to her “key messages” — the main points she needed to keep emphasizing through the interviews. She was very pleased with the work we — alright, I — had done.
Do you see how this came, right at a time when I was at a very low point in my estimation of my abilities? It hit me this morning, that God had set that whole thing up, partly so that the message of the news conference (which involved a public policy innovation intended to help a lot of people) would come out clearly and concisely, and also to pull me out of the doldrums.
It’s the worldly form of redemption. Redemption in Christ is one thing, and is greater than anything one can imagine; but there are material blessings that come with it. And lest you think that’s too worldly to attribute something worldly to God, remember this:
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him
If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.— James 2:14-17
If Jesus half-brother calls us to do that in the world, wouldn’t His Father set the example? Our heavenly redemption does translate into something we can see and feel, and when it manifests, we can use to glorify God.
Notice, by the way, that I hadn’t been praying for this kind of redemption: it wasn’t a name-it-and-claim-it situation, where I specifically prayed, “Father, help me to redeem myself as a communications consultant.” My prayer usually boils down to, “Father, You know what my needs are, even the ones I don’t know about: I leave it to You to take care of them.”
And when He does, my testimony boils down to: He did it for me — He can do it for you.
Keep drawing close to Him and putting your trust in Him, and He will provide you with the things you need, exactly when you need them, even if you didn’t think you needed them.
And when He does, tell the world!