Tonight, I had a visit from my neighbor.  This may not seem like a big deal, but there are circumstances around this situation that are really encouraging to me and I thought I would share with you all.  When I was REALLY sick with my eye situation, God had convicted me of not sharing my faith enough with the people that live in our townhome complex.  One guy in particular, was a person who had always been on my heart since we had moved to this area of town  about six years ago but for one reason or another I had always found excuses not to talk to him about Jesus.  Being a pastor, I always said I was too busy putting together services for other people so THEY could go out and share their faith with the world.  Then my world was turned upside down by having Scleritis and almost losing my eye in the process.  If you have never been really sick to the point of a changed lifestyle, one thing to know is that your priorities in life change.  I went from “looking good” as a pastor to actually doing my job on this earth which is sharing my faith with others.  I can remember the night about five years ago when I decided that I was not going to go blind or die and not have shared my faith with this neighbor who had been on my heart for so many years.   I walked over and knocked on the door and he let me into the doorway of his house.  I told him, “I have lived here for two years and have never told you about the most important thing in my life which is my relationship with Jesus.”  I was then waiting for him to break down and start crying and give his life over to God right then and there.  Needless to say, that didn’t happen.  He went on to tell me how he had been involved with a denomination growing up and had been abused by the church staff when he was a kid and still had some pretty hard feelings for church in general.  I told him, “well, you know I am pretty sick right now and I dont know what is going to happen to me, but I knew that I needed to tell him about my feelings for Jesus and that I knew I was supposed to talk to him that night.  I walked back to my house and went on with my life and living out the next four most painful years of my life emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially.  Whenever I had seen this neighbor around it was good because I knew I had done my part to tell him about God and the rest was up to him.
So fast forward to tonight and my visit from this neighbor.  He proceeded to tell me that he was fully involved in a church now singing in the choir and that he had dealt with the issues that had hurt him so many years ago.  He told me that he had made it right with God and was not mad at the church anymore.  I really feel like my conversation with him about four years ago started something in him that progressed to the point of him coming to grips with the pain that he went through as a child and knowing that being mad at God was not the answer to the peace he was looking for in life.  The other amazing thing was that his intention tonight was only to walk over and tell me this information about him going to church and that he had made it right with God.  This was encouraging to me in that my eye situation was used to get me off my fat butt and go tell someone about my relationship with Jesus and for it to start something good in his life and change his eternal destination forever.  I know that it was not just about me talking to my neighbor that changed him, but it was about God using me in the middle of my crap to change a guy who I will now see in heaven and who has made peace with a painful past.  What are you doing today to change the world around you?  Please don’t do what I did and wait for a rotten eyeball to do the things that God is asking you to do. If you dont have a relationship with him then please send me an email and we can talk.
I can now say that this is the most fun I have had in my walk with God and helping to change people’s lives for the better.  It really isn’t me sharing with people about what I think is wrong with their lives or what they believe, it is talking about the peace I have found in Christ and the purpose beyond my life that is changing the world I live in forever for the glory of God.

One thought on “An Encouraging thing just happened

  1. Thank you for sharing and for setting an example for the rest of us! The burden of us not sharing our faith with others has really been heavy on my heart the last several months. Conversations with my brother have also made me realize that it is very selfish of us to keep God’s gift of salvation to ourselves. I think of all the celebrities that have recently died and just wonder if anyone around them had been courageous to share Christ with them.

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