I was amazed when I picked up a letter addressed to me from a friend who had recently moved away and I was even more amazed as I started to read the note and discovered these words...
"I want you to know how grateful I am to you. You taught me so much about how God works in our lives and how the timing is perfect. I appreciate your thirst for knowledge and your perfect love for others. I hope to develop those qualities in myself.
I remember the day (after we had known one another for awhile), when I saw in your face that you had become a new person. I knew that knowing our Lord Jesus Christ really does transform us and I knew the forces of Hell were shaking, realizing that you were in a covenant relationship with God.
I love the person that God has made you to be and how humble and accepting you are of His will."
She closed with a thought that she had recalled in thinking about our relationship. "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life."
Believe me, I was humbled to read these thoughts.
And then, along comes an e-mail from another friend, even though we have never met, but she writes many inspiring thoughts and that is why I knew I had to learn more about this person. Today, her blog read: "Why is it that I always find myself second guessing my story" and asked this questions of the readers, "Can you relate to that?"
I would like to respond, "Well, of course, we often come in contact with others we would like to share our thoughts about our conversion and life - in Christ, but the fact is, we inhabit a planet with 7 billion plus others, most of whom have a much different approach to life. The chances of meeting another who has spent a lifetime, perhaps, hoping to met someone with whom they might instantly agree are infinitesimal. Our first step in leading others to share our beliefs starts with a realization that we have something in common, such as community, school, sports, etc. There is the best market place for souls.
We used a sing, "Wishing will make it so," Fascinating lyrics, but the fact is, when we are discussing eternal principles, wishing only makes our creeds sound as if they are lyrical and not, factual.
My younger friend was kind and I appreciate the thoughts. The fact, however, was that there were almost forty long years between the time that I bowed in submission and the conversations we shared.
We all have stories to tell, no question about that and it is good when we can relate them to the stories we have heard in church and Sunday school, but those that arouse curiosity are the ones that open the shuttered minds of others. The first forty-five years of my life found me in a church or religious sanctuaries but still, when God opened the shutters in my mind, I had to ask Him what he meant by the word, repent. The fact that it cleansed me of guilt and shame, became the first step in believing there is a God and that He loved me, even me.
And now, living on purpose has become the reality that I had been seeking and has become the answer to the overwhelming numbers of questions being asked, every day in every community in our nation and in every other nation on our planet.