August 3, 2014
Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
Letter #342: Child-like Faith
This week I’d hoped to finish strong, completing all of my monthly goals, but by Wednesday, with just one day left in the month, I was worried. My goal to have a serious heart-to-heart discussion with at least one unsaved person with the intent of sharing my faith looked like it wasn’t going to happen.
I do make an effort to make friends with guys I don’t know yet. During the month, I began talking to a guy who lives a couple of cells away from me. I heard his life’s story. He, too, was put in Construction Class, so we talked there, as well.
But on Wednesday, the guy was quoting multiple Bible verses before class started. I was disappointed and doubtful, now unsure if he was already a believer or not. I said, “Wow, you’re quoting Bible verses like it’s Sunday morning church in here!” and of course he replied, “Well, just trying to have ‘iron sharpen iron.’” The little dirtbag! Turns out, he was a Christian all along, and I should’ve just asked.
I began furiously praying for someone else to witness to. In July, so I could mark off my final unfinished goal, of course. Then it happened. After dinner, I asked a guy, Roger, how he’d been doing since discovering his fiancée had left him for someone else. He told me that she’d changed her number, and a nice lady got her old number and told him to call her to talk whenever he wants.
I asked him why he thinks God let that happen, and his reply startled me. “I’m not ready to believe in God,” Roger told me with a smile. His reason? He’s able to do things on his own, without God in his life. I wanted so badly to answer his objection right then, but I knew we needed time, so I asked him if he had time to discuss the whole God issue with me. He agreed, and we sat and talked for what turned out to be nearly an hour.
Roger attended private schools while growing up. Every day since Kindergarten, he’d had a religious period, so he is extremely well-versed about God. He certainly doesn’t need me to “witness” to him, since he’s heard it all before. As he spoke, I quietly begged God for wisdom, “Give me what he needs.”
I tackled his first objection easily enough, helping him see “why bad things happen to good people.” But his major objection was a bit trickier. He thinks he’s got incredible will-power and internal motivation; who really needs God? This pride, though stated humbly, prevents Roger from seeing the gracious hand of God over his life, providing and sustaining his every breath. Then he told me about Julie.
While other friends, even so-called Christian friends, had mistreated him, Roger said that Julie, a sweet Chinese girl who doesn’t believe in God, has always been kind, compassionate, and encouraging. She has high morals, tells the truth, and doesn’t drink or do drugs. He reasons that Julie obviously hasn’t needed God to live a successful life.
I realized we were at an impasse, but God prompted me to ask Roger, “What about this: I’m gonna pray that Julie will realize her need for God; that God would prove Himself to her. Will you believe in God then?”
His eyes got huge. This wasn’t the religious talk stuff he was used to. This just got real. I answered his unspoken doubt with, “What, you don’t think God cares about Julie? If God exists, wouldn’t you want Julie to know?”
He said, “Definitely, YES!” And it was settled. I don’t know when, but I know God will prove Himself faithful.
Please pray for Roger, and especially his friend, Julie; two souls destined for the Kingdom.
I just got off the phone with Michael and Katie, at the hospital with their brand-new blessing, Megan Jubilee. I got to be her first phone call, and I’m a very proud uncle. So tiny, at six pounds, she was being expertly cared for by her mom and dad. How she needs them, helpless as she is. She doesn’t even know what she needs, she’s so needy. And I see it. This is why we are to come to God “as a child” does. Helpless. Needy. Trusting implicitly the hands that hold it. Perfect faith.
I don’t ever want to become too old, too smart (or too dumb!), or too sure of myself that I think I don’t need God. God, keep me trusting You!
Thank you, Megan, for already sharing your faith.
Christopher (Your Uncle Tigger)