It was Thanksgiving Day 2018. I was enjoying the day at home with my wife and children when my phone rang. One of my congregants was calling to ask me a favor. Her ex-husband was dying from cancer and desired to speak with a pastor. I, of course, didn't hesitate to walk through any open door to share the gospel, so we set up a time later in the afternoon where I could video chat with him.
A few hours passed. Our family had enjoyed a wonderful meal together, and the time had come to jump on the video call and share the good news of Jesus! I quickly prayed that God would guide my words to bring Him praise and glory.
On the call, I saw a man whose body was racked with cancer. He was weak and was told by his doctors there was nothing more they could do for him. But he still hoped for something deeper, something more. He began to ask questions about his life choices, and God brought verse after verse to my mind to share with him. After about 20 minutes of talking and sharing Scripture, I felt prompted by the Spirit to ask if he was ready to know God and spend eternity in Heaven.
His eyes filled with tears as he simply said, "Yes." We prayed together, and He asked Jesus to live in his heart for the rest of his days here on earth. We said "Amen," and when he opened his eyes again, the joy of Christ shone through the phone screen.
He said, "I feel the joy inside me!"
He called his family into the room and shared the good news as to what Jesus had just done for him. Great shouts of praise and worship were heard through the phone, but even greater shouts of joy and praise were heard in heaven. Two weeks later, his battle with cancer ended. Some say David lost, but I say he won the biggest victory of all, for David now stood in the presence of Jesus forevermore.
I am so grateful that God never takes a holiday off, and I will be forever grateful that God chose me to be His hands and feet that Thanksgiving Day. One day, I know I will see David again, and we will worship Jesus then just like we worshiped Him that Thanksgiving day when he found salvation!
Chris Shallenberger is lead pastor of New Horizon Church of the Nazarene in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Please note: This article was originally published in 2021. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.