Walking by Faith

Rex Samuel Raj

Southern India | January 1

Rex lay in bed, unable to move his legs. The doctor’s words hung in the air like smoke that choked out hope. “You will never walk again,” he’d said.

Rex stared at the ceiling. What would happen to his family? He had resisted his family’s pleas to spend Sabbaths worshipping with them, saying that he couldn’t afford to miss work. Now the doctor said he might never walk again. 

Where is God in all this? Rex wondered. What will happen to us?

Rex had plenty of time to think as he lay helpless. He knew that it was his own stubbornness that had put him where he was.

Stubborn Man

Rex was proud of his family and his ability to provide for them. When his uncle had visited two years earlier, he had invited Rex to enroll his daughters in the Adventist school. He even offered to help pay the girls’ school fees. So Rex agreed and enrolled the girls in the Adventist school. They loved it! 

The girls wanted to attend Sabbath School, so his wife took them. She urged Rex to go with them, but he always had an excuse—he had to work. When the pastor invited Rex to attend the monthly day of fasting and prayer on Sundays, Rex agreed. He enjoyed the service and became convinced that what the pastor taught at these meetings was the truth. 

The pastor urged Rex to act on what he knew was the truth and let God provide for him and his family. But still Rex hesitated. He smoked and he drank, and he wasn’t sure he could quit. However, when a retired pastor offered to study the Bible with him during his lunch hour, Rex agreed. 

Rex’s wife wanted to be baptized and asked her husband to make the commitment with her. But he didn’t feel ready. He told her to go ahead and be baptized, that he would follow one day. “Just trust God,” she urged him. “He’ll take care of the details.” But Rex resisted.

After studying for months with the retired pastor, Rex finally agreed to be baptized. He knew it was the right thing to do, and he hoped that baptism would change him. But it didn’t. He found that he was the same man he had been before, still more concerned about providing for his family than about letting God rule his life. 

Time to Think

Then the accident changed everything. Now he had no choice but to rest—every day. Rex thought about how he had tried to solve his family’s financial problems by dishonoring God and not keeping the Sabbath.

The pastor and church members visited Rex and encouraged him to trust God. Rex prayed that God would forgive him for his unfaithfulness. He surrendered his life to God, and this time he meant it. He asked God for healing, but he promised that no matter what, he would put his faith in God and attend church with his family as soon as he was able. 

After weeks in the hospital, he was discharged to await surgery. He had no money to pay the surgeon, and there was no assurance that the surgery would allow him to walk again. But when his uncle offered to pay for the surgery, Rex felt a surge of hope. 

Surgery eased the pain Rex had experienced from the injury to his back, but he was still bedridden. He wondered whether he would ever walk again. As he spent hours in prayer and Bible reading, he grew spiritually. Slowly his body responded, and he was able to pull himself to a sitting position. Then a year after the accident, Rex took his first wobbly steps. 

A Promise Kept

Rex kept his promise and began attending church with his family. He praised God for every degree of healing. Eighteen months after the accident that had paralyzed him, Rex could walk without pain. 

He realized that God, indeed, had supplied all the family’s needs. He found work. His new job paid less than his former job had, but the money went further. The family returns tithes faithfully and, because of God’s blessings, still manages to pay their bills. 

“The accident that crippled me brought healing to my soul,” Rex says. “I’m grateful that God provided the Adventist school that helped bring my family the message of truth and salvation in Jesus.”

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