Their Last Chance
Did you ever sense God urging you to share your faith, but you hesitated? As a young Christian, I learned it pays to heed those whispered nudges.
I had been a follower of Christ only a short time when the first of God’s nudges occurred. An inward impression on my heart and mind began compelling me to tell someone how God had forgiven my sins and changed my life.
I was certain I knew the person the Lord wanted me to talk to that day. Across the crowd was Ryan, (not his real name), a wild, troubled boy who attended my high school. For years I had seen him grapple with failure and rejection.
There was one problem. I was at a place where a dedicated Christian shouldn’t be. Young in the faith, I didn’t realize how serious it was to rationalize around the uncomfortable guilt I felt while attending this event.
How will he believe me when I’m at this place? I reasoned. Other church members were there, but the Lord made it clear He didn’t think it was a place for me.
I lost the chance when Ryan and his friends left. A short time later, this troubled teenager was shot and killed at a drinking party.
A second experience came one winter when I was teaching in the Appalachian Mountains. Ice covered the roads and sidewalks that day, making travel treacherous.
While driving up a hill, I noticed a haggard-looking young woman staggering up a steep sidewalk. She was drunk; it was obvious.
“Pick her up and tell her about Me.” God was nudging me again.
I stopped, picked her up, and drove her to her destination. But the thought of witnessing to her was lost on what seemed like sound reason: She’s so drunk she’ll never comprehend what I’m saying.
And so, that opportunity was lost also.
The story didn’t end there.
A few weeks later our pastor got a call to hold a funeral for a family that had no church affiliation. They needed an organist and asked me to play.
As the funeral began, police escorted a young prisoner in, complete with shackles on his ankles. They sat with him on the front row and guarded him carefully. From my vantage point at the front, I could see his face twisted in anguish.
The funeral ended. Just before the undertaker closed the casket, police escorted the prisoner to the front to pay his final respects. Despite his shackles, he threw himself over the casket, moaning and wailing. The deceased was his wife or his girlfriend.
I was one of the last to leave the church. When I peered into the face of the deceased, I was shocked to see the same girl God had urged me to speak to, just a few weeks prior.
Another chance to make a difference in someone’s life—and I hadn't responded.
Since then, I have learned that you can’t put God in a box. He can and does choose to speak to people in places and situations we can hardly fathom. It’s worth all eternity to pay attention to the impressions of the Spirit of the living God.