With a Grateful Heart


By Justin Torossian

In every person’s life there are certain instances they can look back to…moments where, in God’s grace and power, He clearly intervened. The most recent of such experiences for me was not long ago — June 12 of last year. 

In the last few years I’ve enjoyed sharing articles in this column, along with my fellow Christian pastors here in Exeter. But that particular week, rather than an article by me, there was an article about me. The article began with the sentence, “A man who prays for others for a living is now in need of prayer from others.” After landing in LAX after a week in Australia with my fiancée, I was just seven minutes from my Exeter home when I had a head on collision with an 18-wheeler freight liner truck. All factors considered, in light of the laws of physics I should not be alive—but the One who created physics saw fit to miraculously save my life! I can completely relate to the words of Psalm 116, in verses 3 and 4: “The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!”

While my guardian angel will no doubt explain the miraculous details to me someday in person, I’m so grateful to God for the emergency rescue workers who cut me out of my car. I also praise God for the EMTs and medical workers who air-lifted me to the hospital, as well as the doctors and nurses who helped in my healing. My wonderful wife-to-be flew out when she heard of the crash, and was a tremendous support to my family as well as to me as I recovered. I was also relieved to hear that the driver of the truck was ok! A few verses later Psalm 116 says: “For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”

Many of you reading these words were praying for me—if you were, I cannot thank you enough! Truly, we serve a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God — and I fully believe that the prayers of His people enabled Him to miraculously save me, as well as heal me.

I’ve used the word “miracle” a number of times, and mean it in the fullest sense of the word. Sometimes people ask, “Why doesn’t God work miracles today like He did in the days of Elijah or Solomon, or in the lifetime of Jesus?” Experiences like mine open one’s eyes to realize that God does still work miracles, just as surely as He did when Christ walked the dusty streets of Israel 2,000 years ago! And miracles are made possible through the power of prayer. Truly, “prayer moves the arm that moves the world.” 

It’s been a joy to serve the Lord as a pastor here in Exeter these past nearly three years, and to get to know a number of you. As God has opened up a door for my fiancée and me to work in ministry in Australia, we will very soon be transitioning there. Let’s continue to keep each other in prayer! 

May your 2019 be an amazing combination of answered prayers and character-building opportunities as you see God’s hand at work in your lives—right across Exeter! And if we don’t meet again this side of Heaven, may we meet again under the tree of life with Jesus Himself!

Justin Torossian is pastor at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Exeter. He may be reached at [email protected] by calling 559-909-0965.

Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church. 

This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.

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