A Natural Fit

“Son...I have wanted you in ministry for 35 years.” Tim Short felt the Lord saying these piercing words right to his heart. He had no idea God was preparing him to fulfill his deepest desire.

Mountain Tops and Valleys

Early life was hard for Tim. He and his two sisters lived in an abusive home in Fairfax County, Virginia, with the only bright side being able to attend church with his aunt and uncle on the weekends. Tim lost his mom as a young boy, and his family (including his father) went to live with his grandparents. While the impact of their surroundings definitely took its toll, Tim’s grandmother was a strong believer who loved and pursued the Lord. “My grandmother was an incredible woman of faith—she had amazing guidance on my life.”

The Lord worked on Tim’s heart as he continued to find his way. As a young married man, his pastor was visiting with Tim and his wife, Kim, in their living room when something incredible happened. They accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Tim and Kim were not the only ones who had experienced the Savior in a real and powerful way. “I excitedly called to tell my grandparents about our newfound faith and learned my alcoholic grandfather had also surrendered his life to Christ the same week,” Tim remembers. All three were baptized together the following Sunday.

For the next ten years, Tim lived close to the Lord. “I taught Sunday school, eventually becoming the Sunday school director. I even felt a calling towards ministry,” says Tim. While everything seemed to be going well for the father of three, who was also an engineer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Tim struggled with this urge from the Lord. “I didn’t want to do it and fought the Lord. As a result, I drifted from my relationship with Him.” Tim turned to drinking and became an alcoholic—the very thing he never wanted to be in his life.

Struggle and Calling

He couldn’t put the bottle down for the next several years and fell into a dark place. However, his Heavenly Father never gave up on him. Job 11:7 (ESV) says, “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?” Tim knew he wasn’t living in a way that pleased the Lord. “Four years ago, I reached my breaking point and asked the Lord to completely remove my desire for alcohol. He did, and I haven’t touched it since,” says Tim with tears in his eyes.

“Son, you are a slow learner…I have wanted you in ministry for 35 years.”

Then, there was that calling into ministry inclination that never went away. Tim felt as if the Lord was saying, “Son, you are a slow learner…I have wanted you in ministry for 35 years.” Tim never felt the call to pastoral ministry but to evangelical ministry.

A year and a half ago, Tim spoke with a man named Ted in his church. He was telling Ted and their pastor about feeling led to some sort of evangelical ministry. Ted is a Gideon in the Fredericksburg Camp, Virginia, and immediately felt led to share with Tim about membership in The Gideons. Ted asked him Tim to pray about and consider being a Gideon. “When Tim mentioned evangelism, I thought about The Gideons. This Association is a natural fit for him and his calling,” says Ted, who now serves as Tim’s mentor. “I wish I had joined earlier in my life. Being a Gideon is a calling from the Lord and has been a long time coming,” says Tim.

Tim loves his fellow members in the Fredericksburg Camp and is very engaged in camp life, currently serving as camp chaplain. In October 2022, Tim, alongside Ted, took part in a metropolitan blitz. “It was my first state blitz,” says Tim. “I loved getting the Word out and being around all these Godly men and women. I want to share the Gospel with anyone who will listen.”

Life is very different for Tim now—he is living in the center of God’s will. He is an active Gideon, volunteer firefighter, and volunteer chaplain on the rapid response team with the Billy Graham Association. His passion is making the name of Jesus famous. “I once heard someone say, ‘just go tell them…,’ and that is my life’s calling and passion.”

“Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?” –Job 11:7 (ESV)

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