I recently had the priviledge of witnessing a co-worker at Red Lobster come to the Lord. My involvement went something like this:
“Why, yes, I am a Christian.”
“Oh, you need a Bible? Yes, I suppose I could get you a Bible.”
“You don’t know very much about the Bible and you need someone to explain it to you? Yes, I guess we could get together and talk about what the Bible is saying.”
“You feel like you need God in your life but you don’t know how? It’s the funniest thing, but I actually know how you could get God in your life.”
“You don’t know anything about Jesus but you want to know more? I could tell you about Him.”
“You want to be baptized? Well, I guess I could arrange that…”
God had completely prepared the soil of this woman’s heart and all she needed was the Gospel sown on it. There was a period of about a week during the above conversations when she had almost completely stopped talking to me, and I ended up saying something to her that was pretty much a lie. Something like, “Oh, it’s okay not to read the Bible if you need to finish up your 4-Step Textbook.” Through a conversation with a good and admonishing friend, I was shaken by the fact that I had led her away from the one thing that could teach her about the Lord. I told God that I would confess to her my lie and would henceforth speak the truth boldly to her. The next time we had a significant conversation was when she accepted Christ.
Within the next hour after her converson I had two women, independent of each other, exhort/flat-out command me to continue speaking the truth of God boldly into the woman’s life. It seems that it is the one thing that God wants me to do. Kind of like how God kept telling Joshua to “be bold and take heart,” over and over again as he entered into Canaan.
Strangely, I feel like I have been speaking boldly for quite some time at the Red Lobster in Joplin and in St. Charles, but I have not seen much fruit. Now, with very little change in “tactics,” a woman gives her life over to God in less than three weeks. It shows me that I can do nothing to change a person’s heart. That is the work of God.
In the trailor for the upcoming movie, “The Guardian,” there is a scene that has stuck with me. Two men in the Coast Guard are talking together, one a rookie and the other a seasoned veteran. The veteran says that sometimes he has to make the choice of whom to save out of the water.
“How do you know which one to save?” the rookie asks.
“I swim as hard as I can, as fast as I can, for as long as I can…and the sea takes the rest.”
I believe that this should be my attitude towards the salvation of my friends. I don’t know who God has chosen (or is it who has chosen God?) but I have got to strive with all my energy, prayers, thoughts, words and actions to reach out to as many as possible.
For, as my wise brother-in-law reminded me, “The harvest is plentiful.”