A former high school football player, Pastor Steve Ashley is no stranger to pain. But when the leg crushed in a teenage weight-lifting accident was still acting up 25 years later, with everything from troublesome circulation to painful ulcers, it was time to take action. A surgery to correct the circulation problems resulted in what he calls, 100% perfection. But, a new challenge, an infection months into the healing process, landed him in Baptist Medical Center for a week of costly treatment. A minister and father of five with a nurse for a wife, he knew his family was facing a mountain of medical bills. He also knew just what to do: ask, first, in prayer.
“I was concerned, not worried,” he explains. “I knew that God would take care of it. I didn’t know how but I put my faith and trust in Him and had peace about it. We were praying for God to give us direction, crying out to Him for help, and the next day we received a letter in the mail saying our bill was paid in full by the Mother’s Day Offering. We had no idea it was coming. We trusted that the financial burden would be made lighter and the peace of God that passeth all understanding got us through it.”
Pastor Ashley knows he need look no further than his Bible to understand what happened: Nothing is impossible with God. “We go through these things, we pray to God believing he will heal us,” he points out. “We have to trust even when it doesn’t make sense. Even though we’re going through trials and pain, He will direct our path.”
Pastor Ashley understands the power of blessings, but, with a twist: Instead of praying to be blessed, he encourages people to pray to be a blessing to others. “Giving to the Mother’s Day Offering makes you a blessing,” he says. “Thank you, NC Baptists, from the bottom of my heart, for being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ and sharing His love in my time of need, for being the answer to our prayers.”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6