Thursday, April 20, 2017

Daily Thought For April 20, 2017

                       OPPORTUNITIES 

     When I was newly baptized in the Holy Spirit I eagerly welcomed every opportunity to give witness to what God had done in my life. The simplest question from an unsuspecting stranger would prompt a detailed version of my personal testimony. Even though my zeal wasn't always enlightened, God blessed my efforts to evangelize. 
     During that zealous period I carried my huge, hardbound Jerusalem Bible under my arm while traveling, much to my father's chagrin. When he asked why I didn't put it in a paper bag, I simply explained that it was a wonderful way to start a conversation about Jesus. People couldn't help but notice it! 
     As time went by I lost some of my eagerness to share the good news. Many an opportunity on a plane, in a rest room, on a beach, in a grocery store or doctor's office, passed me by because I was too tired, busy, or preoccupied. "Make the most of the present opportunity," Scripture exhorts us (Eph 5: 16). Each day we are surrounded by people who are longing for the loving touch of Jesus that comes through us if only we take the time to reach out.  
     Recently I met two people who reminded me of this truth. 
My husband and I were waiting for our plane after a conference, when I happened into a casual conversation with a young woman seated nearby. In the midst of our small talk I had a sense from the Lord that she was suffering in her family life. Before I knew it, this woman began pouring her heart out to me. She had just suffered a miscarriage and had been told she had little chance of ever bearing a child. Then her twin brother died suddenly. As she spoke it was natural to put my arm around her in  comfort and offer to pray with her. She knew the Lord, but at that moment she needed the reassurance of His love for her. Her gratitude for the prayer was genuine, and we parted with an embrace. She has written to me since to thank me. 
     Once on board the plane my husband and I began to talk together about the good things the Lord had done for us during the conference. An older man seated next to my husband Al looked unfriendly, and I concluded that our conversation was annoying him. 
     We didn't exchange a word with the man until the plane landed. Then he leaned over and said, "Pardon me. I hope you don't mind, but I overheard your conversation about Christ. Will you please pray for me? My son is ill, and I'm terribly worried about him." 
Immediately we joined hands and prayed for the boy. 
      This gentleman whom I thought to be unfriendly was in reality worried about his son. He was just waiting for us to share Christ with him. How grateful he was for that brief moment of prayer! 

As we travel this summer let's ask the Holy Spirit to help us "make the most of the present opportunity" to share the good news with those we meet. The Lord will use us if we're willing. 

from More of God  by Patti Gallagher Mansfield pp.115-166