So I came across this quote – and no, that’s not me in the background! – and it really gave me pause. This one sentence sums up the kind of impact that my life should ideally have:
I’m not saying that it’s my job to go around and convince everyone to believe as I do – not at all. Rather, my aim is to have a soft presence and be myself, and leave the rest in God’s very capable hands. After all, we never really know how and when God is going to use us, do we?
A few years ago, a good friend of mine was going through a hard time. In many respects, her life is been characterized by trauma and loss, and while she was not a believer, she was definitely spiritually seeking person.
She had been going through a rough spell for some time. We were on the telephone one evening, and she was in a really bad place. She was asking for help, and I wasn’t sure quite what to do. Then she said something that caught me by surprise:
I want the kind of faith that you have.
She said just like that, very matter-of-factly. Even though I’ve been a Christian for most of my life, I had no idea what exactly I should say to her next.
So do you know what I did? I just decided to simply be myself. I shared my own struggles with her, and how when I was in the depths of a dark time in my life many years ago, I turned to the Bible and simply started reading. I told her that I was raised in a culturally Christian home, but that we weren’t that biblically literate. It wasn’t until a lot of pain entered my life that I turned to the Bible, because that was really all that I had left.
Of course, I know now that the Bible was all I really needed. I was amazed that simply reading the Bible with an open mind and a tender heart can change you from the inside out. And that’s what I told my friend, too.
Later, I bought her a Bible and encouraged her start reading in the books of Proverbs and Psalms. In the span of two days, she had read through both books! Not long after, she shared stories about how she was miraculously healed, how her peace had been restored, and how her mood had lifted. In time, she came to accept faith in Christ, not because anyone pressured her to do it – simply because it was the right decision for her.
Unfortunately, she and I lost a touch earlier this year, and I do miss talking to her. I reached out several times, and she has not been responsive. However, wisdom has taught me that just as there are seasons with the weather, we often experience seasons in our relationships as well. I recognize that our seasons are different at this time, and I need to give her the space that she needs. In time, if it is the Lord’s will for our paths to reconnect, then He will bring it about in His timing. Forcing the issue won’t help matters at all.
Anyway, I share all of this to encourage you. Remember that someone is always watching, and you simply don’t know how God may use You to touch some someone else’s life. Accordingly, there is no need to try to be like someone else – God can and will use you just as you are (very possibly without your knowledge!).
Let your light shine!
Dear God, thank You for using me -imperfect, flawed, and ordinary – just as I am to accomplish Your purposes. Help me to remember that I don’t need to strive to be like someone else – I am a unique person, custom-created by You.
I lift up my friend to You now, Lord. You know all of her circumstances; I pray that she is growing closer to You, and that her life is filled with a peace that only You can provide. In Your name I pray, Amen.