Thursday, November 15, 2012

Words of Comfort: How to Walk on Air (part 3)

I then explained the gospel; about how Jesus came and died for us, and paid our fine so we could go free and have eternal life. I also explained that we need to do two things to have eternal life: Repent of our sins, and trust and believe on Jesus. I emphasized how salvation is a free gift and doesn’t have to be earned. After a few minutes of getting deeper into the gospel and about how we as people need to make the choice to follow Jesus and devote our lives to Him, Jennifer started to share some things that I didn’t expect.

“Well, look,” she said, after I had paused for breath. “You seem nice, and you’re still really young… But my life has just been a piece of ****, and I gave up on God. I’ve been raped, I’ve had horrible things happen to me as I’ve grown up, and my life is just a mess. I gave up my faith a long time ago, and that’s why I’m like this today.” As she shared, I realized that she didn’t seem angry at all… just… bitter. Bitter with what she had endured over the years. I felt a deep sadness and compassion for her well up in my heart.

“I am so sorry,” I whispered, just pausing a moment to sympathize with her. I felt so much pain for her. I ached for her.

“Oh, don’t be sorry,” she said, brushing it off. “I’ve gotten used to it. That’s why when stuff like that happens to you, you just have to learn to suck it up.”

I paused again, trying to sort out my thoughts and respond appropriately, while still being sensitive to her feelings. “I really am sorry for what you’ve been through, and I know I’ll probably never understand what you’ve endured. I really haven’t gone through much, and I know what I have gone through will never compare with what you’ve gone through…”

She nodded, and seemed to appreciate what I was saying.

“But…” I continued, choosing my words wisely. “You can’t just go through life and learn to ‘suck it up.’ What’s the point of life, then? You have to know where you’re going and which path you’ll take. You have to know if you’re right with God and if you’re going to heaven or hell. You need to choose which place you want to go to, because you’ll be spending eternity in either one in the end. You don’t have hope if you’re just trying to survive through each day.”

“Oh, I have hope,” she said, still stubborn.

“What do you have hope in?” I asked in a gentle voice.

“In myself and my family.”

“Well you and your family will one day pass away. You’re all going somewhere, and you need to decide where you’ll go. You can’t have hope in them and yourself. Only hope in God, because He’ll always be here no matter what, and He has the power to save you. I’m not saying that life will get easier and you’ll be happier, but if you repent and trust in Christ, you’ll have eternal life and a relationship with God. Jesus suffered for you, and in return for what He did, you need to give Him your life. We never know when we’re going to die. We could all die today. If you died in your sins right now, you’d go to Hell. And I’m not out here to get paid, or to get popular. I’m out here because I really care about you, and I don’t want you to go to Hell. I know where I’m going, because I have received the free gift of eternal life… and I want you to do that too.”

The two of them were really paying attention now, and they seemed very convicted. I talked with them for a while, and I still don’t know how I was able to talk to them without stumbling too much on my words. God was really helping me lay out the gospel to them.

A little later, Jennifer said something very interesting. “I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’ve said, ‘**** Him. **** Him. Why did he ******* do this to me and why did he make my life like **** and why did he make me so miserable?’ But…” And then she broke off, looking thoughtful. “I don’t think it’s really His fault.” She seemed to really be pondering what I had said to her.

“It’s not His fault,” I replied. “It’s man’s fault. From the beginning, Adam and Eve sinned, and that’s what brought all the sin and misery and pain on us today. God wasn’t the one who brought the sin into this world.” I tried to explain as best as I could about how God is a God of love and how he wants us to come and repent and He isn’t a wicked God who is always condemning and trying to make people miserable.

At one point, Jennifer said something that surprised me. “You seem really strong in your faith, and you need to keep doing this and talking to people. Don’t do what I did… Just keep doing this. But when you get older, you’ll go through horrible things, and you’ll probably lose your faith or fall away. That’s what happened to me.”

That made me stop and think deeply for a second. How could I explain what true faith in God was? I tried my best. “Well, when someone really, truly believes in Christ and has a sincere relationship with Him, they won’t completely fall away from Him. They might stray at some points, but they won’t go away from Him forever.”

We talked some more, and I couldn’t believe how well the conversation was going.

Finally, I decided to wrap it up. “Thank you so much for letting me talk to you both,” I said, smiling. “I really do care about you and I’ll be praying for you. Do you have Bibles at home?”

They said they didn’t.

“Well please find a Bible, read it, and obey what it says. And please repent and put your trust in Christ. He’s the only one who can save you.”

As I was getting ready to walk away, Jennifer stopped me. “I thought you were going to shove religion down my throat when you first talked to us, but you didn’t. I could tolerate what you said, and you seem really nice. Thank you for talking to us; this was a really neat conversation. Don’t lose your faith.”

It amazed me how she kept emphasizing how she liked what I was doing and she didn’t want me to stop. Amanda agreed with her and said, “Thank you so much.” They truly looked grateful.

I walked away, feeling as if I was walking on air. I had never felt so happy and amazed in my life. Imagine if I had backed away from talking to both of them? I would have never shared the gospel with them, and they wouldn’t have been convicted of their sins. I really think God brought me there at the right time, especially for Jennifer. People like them stir up the passion inside me and make me want to save lost souls even more. I’ve already started praying for them, and I really do love them so much and care about them with all my heart. I still can’t believe that God has been able to use me in this incredible way, and I find nothing more enjoyable than sharing my faith with others.

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