The David Years
Nia Johnson has spent the past four years developing a closer relationship to God. She wants to believe she’s still anointed to become a healer at Puzzle House, but as each year passes, she has more and more doubts.
Now that she’s graduated from high school and is an adult, she is sure it’s time to take the mantle of healing Rachel passed to her so many years ago. Nia thought her learning years—her David Years—were over, but the harder she tries to move forward, the more her destiny seems to elude her.
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Do you want to be a healer? Rachel’s words echoed in Nia’s mind. The thought of helping others the way Rachel had helped her had seemed impossible until God’s presence filled the room. At the time, it had been amazing—miraculous. But now she was confused—and scared. No way could she do what Rachel did. She was only fifteen. How would she heal anyone?
“So what am I ‘sposed to do now?”
Aunt Margaretta shrugged. “I have no idea, sweetie, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”
“I need Rachel. To help me. To explain to me what to do. To teach me.” Just saying Rachel’s name brought fresh tears to her eyes. At Rachel’s funeral, she thought she’d cried out every last tear. “I can’t do this by myself. I don’t know why God took her from me just when I need her the most.”
“Not true. You need God the most.”
“Now you sound just like Rachel, Auntie.”
“Good. She was a godly woman. I could do lots worse than model myself after her.”
“Maybe that’s what I should do? Model myself after Rachel?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Nia. God didn’t choose you because you were like Rachel. In fact, in many ways you’re quite the opposite of Rachel. He chose you because you’re Nia.”
“I’m not so sure about that, Auntie.”
“I am. God knows what he’s doing.”
“You just said she was a godly woman, and look at all she accomplished. All those people God healed through her. She built Puzzle House. I’ll just copy Rachel’s life, and then I’ll become the healer she thinks—thought I could be.”
“I don’t think it works that way, sweetie. That’s not something you can orchestrate.”
“We could move to Puzzle House right now and I’ll start. I’ll teach people what she taught me. Would you come with me if I did that?”
Auntie closed her eyes. Was she praying? Thinking? Listening to God? She opened her eyes and picked up her suitcase. “Of course, I would go with you. But first, let’s put these away. I’ll cook something for us to eat.”
Only a month ago, Auntie would have put Nia’s things away as well. But God had healed her cancer. Grabbing her suitcase, Nia hauled it into her room then tossed it on the bed. The last time she’d been in this room, she’d just been hoping to survive cancer. God had not only healed her but chosen her to be a healer.
The doctors had told her there was nothing more they could do, but Auntie wasn’t about to give up. She’d taken—no forced—Nia to go to Puzzle House.
Nia looked down, remembering the warmth, the tingling as Rachel held her hands and prayed with her. God had been in that room with them. God had given her the gift of healing. Tears filled her eyes again, not sad ones for Rachel but desperate ones because she didn’t know what to do. “God, I believe You gave me that gift. I felt You in that room with us, but I don’t know what to do. I…I…don’t want to disappoint You or make You mad at me. I don’t know why You would pick me. There are people out there who are a lot smarter than me who could do a better job.” She sighed and looked up at the ceiling. “I’m so confused.”
Her aunt knocked on the door. “What’d you do? Fall asleep?”
“No. Just thinking.”
“Well enough of that. Get yourself out here.”
Her aunt was at the stove when Nia got to the kitchen. “What’s for supper?”
“Spaghetti. I’ll have to go to the grocery store tomorrow after work.” She tossed the frozen glob of meat into a pan. A few moments later, it was sizzling.
“You want me to do something?”
“There’s nothing for you to do.” She pointed at the mail tossed on the table. “There’s a letter for you.”
“It’s from Rachel. She must have sent it…before. Or maybe Cooper sent it for her.”
“I don’t know if I want to read it right now.”
“Up to you, sweetie.”
“I’ll read it later. The more I think about all this…I don’t think I can do it by myself.”
“You don’t have to do it by yourself, Nia. Rachel said puzzles are meant to be done together. That’s true for life as well. Things go much better when you connect with others.”
“But…can you imagine what people would say if I tell them God picked me to be a healer? They’ll think I’m crazy.”
“God will put the right people in your life at the right time just the way He did with Rachel in the hospital that day. Puzzles are meant to be done one piece at a time so you can’t worry yourself into a frazzle thinking about the future.”
“All you have to do is live out the next piece of the puzzle. Have you ever heard of King David from the Bible?”
“Go ahead and put the spaghetti in the boiling water. Make sure you separate it.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Nia tossed in half the box and picked up a fork.
“Well you’ve heard of David and Goliath, right?”
“That David became King David and did all sorts of amazing things for God. Anyway, when David was a young boy, the prophet Samuel anointed him as the next king of Israel.”
“Oh, I didn’t know kings were appointed.”
“Not appointed. Anointed. It means chosen by God for a special job. Just as you’ve been anointed to become a healer. Anyway, Samuel was God’s spokesman, so it was really God who anointed David as the next King of Israel. Just as Rachel anointed you to be a healer, but it was with God’s blessing.”
Nia twirled the cooking spaghetti.
“Anyway, there were a lot of years between the time David was anointed as the king and he actually became the king. David was tested many times during those years. Those years were very important to David’s growth as a man so that he would be the king God wanted him to be when the time was right.”
“So what are you saying, Auntie?”
“I’m saying these are your David years, my sweet niece. It’s a time for you to learn and to grow in your relationship with God. There will be lots of choices in the coming years. Sometimes you’ll make the right choice, and sometimes you won’t. You’ll be crowned in God’s timing not yours. So for now it’s time to live your life as a fifteen-year-old girl.”
“And then later, I get to be king?” Nia giggled.
“I meant that figuratively not literally. And since you’re fifteen and getting healthier every day, that means going back to school.”
“Back to school? I’ve been touched by God, Auntie. I think I have more important things I should be doing than school.”
“David could have thought that as well. He’d been told he would be king, but you know what he did?”
Nia shook her head.
“He went back to taking care of his sheep. Tending sheep was his job, and school is your job.” Auntie smiled. “I’ve been praying about all this since you told me what happened between you and Rachel. I’m pretty sure the next piece of the puzzle is about you going back to school and living your life. The other pieces will fall into place in God’s timing.”
“Just like you to find a way to turn this all around to get me back to school.”
“I believe that’s my part of the puzzle, my sweet niece.” Auntie opened a jar of spaghetti sauce and added it to the ground beef. “Is the spaghetti cooked?”
Nia lifted a strand out with her fork and pinched it. “Almost. So you don’t think I need to be going out and healing anyone just yet?”
“Not yet, sweetie. It will happen when the time is right. God will make sure of that.”
“My David Years. I like that, Auntie.”
Question 1: How does a Christian become ready for their ministry?
Answer 1: Life experiences and Bible study
Question 2: When does a person know they are ready to begin their ministry?
Answer 2: They don't; must step out in faith.
Question 3: What's the most important thing for Christians to have victory in their own lives?
Answer 3: Obedience to God
Question 4: Can you give an example from the book where Nia felt she was doing the right thing but in reality it wasn't? How can you make sure that doesn't happen in your own life?
Answer 4: By studying the Bible and being obedient to God's Word.
Question 5: Nia and Bart come from different races and backgrounds. Do you think that matters?
Answer 5: Various answers
Question 6: Too often, young people think a little "fun" won't hurt them. What's a good way to teach them, that's not true?
Answer 6: By talking about your own mistakes and regrets.