Hour of Trial
It was mid-August of 1987. I had just relocated from Keene, Tex., to the Los Angeles, Calif., area. I desperately needed employment. As I perused the help wanted section of the local paper, suddenly my eyes fell upon the words “Bilingual Public Relations person wanted for Duarte Nissan; no experience necessary, will train.” It was a Friday morning. Upon arriving, I encountered the manager and inquired about the position. He tested my English and Spanish, asked a few other questions, then said, “You are a perfect fit for the job.” After completing some paperwork, he declared the words I so desired to hear: “I’m ready to offer you the position.” I couldn’t believe it. “Fantastic,” I replied. “When do I start?” “Tomorrow,” was his speedy reply. My heart sank. Tomorrow was Sabbath. I agreed, shook hands, and walked out of his office, shuffling to my car. My heart was heavy. I so needed the work, but how could I betray the Lord of my childhood? The next morning, dressed in shirt and tie, I hopped in the car fully intending to begin work at the dealership. As I drove, the Holy Spirit began to wrestle with my errant spirit. My argument was that I would only work there for a short time until something more suitable came my way. As I drove into the dealership, the Spirit of God made His last plea. I was unable to park. I simply made a U-turn and left. I drove to the nearest Seventh-day Adventist church. I sat there thinking, “Lord, I’m trusting You to come through and bless me.” As I walked out of that church, one of the associate superintendents of education for the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists approached me. After introducing himself, he said, “You know my brother. You played guitar with him in college.” I told him about my situation, and he said, “I believe the Lord brought us together. I need a 7th/8th grade teacher at the Long Beach Adventist School. Would you be interested, and could you start on Monday?” I speedily and gratefully accepted. The next two years, teaching those precious kids, were the most developmental years of my 30 years in ministry. God not only gave me strength to pass the trial, but He rewarded me by allowing me to serve Him and invest in the lives of those kids. Praise God for His abiding and enabling power to overcome.
By Carlos J. Craig, President