So this post is for … the one who thinks too much and analyzes everything.
Gwen (not her real name) slumped in her chair making constant twitches with her shoulders, making them droop. She turned her face away, whenever I made eye contact. And wiped her eyes like they were leaking sorrow and pain.
Of course her actions drew me in, and her uneasiness sent a bolt of sadness to my own heart. And yes, she came to the church service at the recovery center this morning. And for that, I was thrilled. Yet, her struggle was real. It is a rehab after all, and it is nine months away from freedom.
I moved to her during prayer time and as the worship songs played. I whispered to her, share a few verses, and encouraged her. Then I introduced myself.
She challenged me with hard questions. “What if it’s too late? What if I’ve done too much?”
I assured her that Jesus endured the hardest part on the cross for her. That He redeems and saves and gives new hearts. That He isn’t finished and hasn’t stopped pouring loving kindness into her.
That she could turn to Him and repent.
Is There Hope?
She sighed, “But how do you know? How do you know there’s hope?”
“Because you’re here. He brought you here for this moment.”
Her weeping continued, “I do pray He forgives me. I just don’t know.”
I charged her with the idea of remaining in service, by taking in the praise and the lyrics during worship. To ask the Lord to speak to her through the Word. “Linger here with Him. I pray He enthrones Himself on your heart and life this morning.”
At that, she sat up taller and touched her Bible, and I whispered a prayer over her.
Share the Gospel Always
Later, another girl in recovery came to me. “I can’t thank you enough for speaking to Gwen. I saw you go over to her. When I first arrived here, months ago, I was her. I was overwhelmed. I was lost. And I had no reason to live. And Jesus used you to share the gospel with me. I am new in Him. He wiped away my sins. You see us. And you speak life to us.”
We then wept together, and I sensed a renewed strength to bravely speak and share and shine for Christ. He sustains us. He moves us. He guides us. May we go and share our passion at knowing Him. After all, what a great place to walk, as we’re zealous for Him! As we see His grace. And mercy.
After service, another girl announced to me as she left the room. “Don’t ever think that what you do for Christ doesn’t matter. I love you. You remind us to follow Christ.”
Wrestle to Live Out Your Faith
Now I share this, because maybe someone out there reading this today may relate. You pray to make a difference for the Kingdom. But you may grow weary. Or tired. Or you doubt. Or maybe you compare. You over think! Your mind talks to you like a broken song, tossing yuck at you!
We all wrestle with circumstances. And get tangled in thoughts. We suffer and face sorrow. We worry. We wonder. We may even whine. Especially if our faith is being tested.
But during such moments, may we purpose to run the race of our life for Christ, and persevere.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12: 1-2 ESV