By Victoria Ostrosky
Saul the Pharisee was an important man. He excelled at his profession, being well-versed and zealous in the Mosaic law. After the risen Jesus knocked him off his donkey and blinded him for three days, Saul discovered that he had been zealous for the wrong thing. Jesus got him all straightened out and changed his name to Paul, the same Apostle who penned most of the New Testament, writing many letters while imprisoned for his new zealousness about the good news of the Gospel.
Ahtyba Rubin, or Tuba, as he is fondly known, attended middle school and high school in Pensacola. Pensacola was an eye-opener to Ahtyba. He was introduced to drugs at a young age, ran with the wrong crowds and made some poor decisions. He also played football in high school. He played it really well.
He played so well, he attended junior college in Texas on a scholarship. He went from Pensacola and high school football to the NFL where he was blessed to be for seven years.
But fame and fortune didn’t bring him joy and peace. Money problems and drug problems followed him around. He knew God was there but didn’t yet have a relationship with Him. When Tuba was with the Seattle Seahawks, his then-girlfriend nudged him to attend a Bible study with his coach. He didn’t really want to go, but decided to give it a chance. Seeds were planted at those Bible studies. After a while he began to feel that knock on his heart’s door. God was telling him “you have to change and you can’t be living the same way.” Tuba prayed about it and God continued to show him the things in his life that needed to be removed.
One day in training, he tore his bicep and just like that, his football career was over. As Tuba says, “it was a ‘but God’ moment.” He wasn’t sure what he was going to do after football – this was who he was.
What he did do, though, was begin attending church, get baptized and get involved. For a long time, he thought success was having money and fame and doing what the world considered right. God’s grace revealed to him that the right thing is putting God first and fully diving in. As Tuba says, he’s “received blessings on top of blessings.”
He found out what his ‘next thing’ was – it was loving God with his whole heart.
As a young boy, Tuba remembers learning about Jesus as his mom read the book of Matthew to him. She would pray over him and read Psalm 23 and the Lord’s Prayer. She pointed him in the right direction. He also had a lot of aunties and grandmas praying for him as well. Now he’s fully in and fully embracing God.
“When my bicep tore – there was a low point, and I thought – what am I going to do next? I lost my back up plan.” His turning point was when his wife got serious with the Lord and they both gave their lives to Christ.
Now Tuba looks for ways to bless others. He loves being Involved in small groups with men praying and worshiping God together. His new passion is wanting to spend more time with the Lord and put Him first. Tuba’s desire is to keep sharing his testimony and to be salt and light to others. “I love interacting one on one with men and talking about God. I love texting my friends and meeting with small groups and loving each other.”
Tuba’s new message is this: “Put God first, trust in Him. Put your hope in Him. Love God with all your heart. The standard and goal is Him – chase after Him. Riches and success and fame are nothing – it’s vanity.”
You can listen to Ahtyba Rubin’s encouraging testimony and many other incredible interviews on the weekly Road to Redemption radio show and podcast at www.roadtoredemptionpodcast.com.