Luke 12:11-12 (ESV) And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
As I sat at the desk of a very nice woman who was finalizing everything for my procedure I read the many personal postings on her cubicle wall. Now mind you I wasn't being “nosy,” (just a little humor), but most of us place pictures and other items in our work space because they’re meaningful to us and often inspiring. This particular woman had two things that caught my eye. One was a short statement on a post-it note that read, “Before you lay your head down to sleep make sure you thank the Lord for waking you up today.” The second was a full page prayer which called on the name of Jesus no less than five times.
I debated with myself if I was going to make a joke when we wrote the check about paying through the nose or drawing her into a conversation about the prayers on her wall. To say the least it wasn't much of a debate, I went with the prayers. I should also say here that I do have a little mischievous streak that sometimes shows up and is hard to read for those that don’t know me very well.
When I signed the last form and handed her pen back I looked straight into her eyes and asked, “Do you really believe in this Jesus guy?”
This dear woman looked at me with fear and utter shock. Her mouth fell open and not one sound proceeded forth for what seemed like five minutes. Fortunately for her Teresa was standing behind me who, within a few seconds, slapped me on the back and emphatically said, “ROD!” I laughed and shared with her that I was a minister and follower of Christ Jesus. Her shoulders dropped and she sat back in her seat with a deep sense of relief. She then shared with us that no one had ever said anything to her about these prayers. Once she did have a young person sitting at her desk holding a book about atheism which caused her some discomfort. I thanked her for having her faith on display by sharing these prayers and then Teresa and I promptly returned to our seats in the waiting area.
Later in the evening after returning home I thought about this woman’s reaction to my question. Was her response more fear than shock or vice versa? Was she afraid she would have to defend her beliefs before an unbeliever who might ask questions she couldn't answers or cause her to doubt the very faith she put on display? Was she shocked because in her mind she couldn't begin to conceive anyone not believing in Christ Jesus especially here in the south where there is a church around every bend? I personally believe she falls with the latter simply because of her words, “I never …”
What would you say?
I’m concerned deeply for those like this dear lady at SurgCare. They actually believe the world is basically good and are shocked when others challenge the veracity of Christ and His Word. In reality the world is evil and as Christians we should never be shocked of man’s contempt for Christ.
I believe those who are fearfully hesitant far outnumber the goodhearted shocked individuals. I can’t tell you the number of Christians who have shared with me their horror of being put on the spot by non-Christians. “What if they ask me a question I can’t answer Pastor Rod?” I remember having similar concerns in the mid-eighties and my mentor was a great help. After sharing my apprehensions Dr. Wheeler reminded me that no one has all the answers, but it’s the wise person who is resourceful and knows where to look in order to obtain those answers.
We need to learn how to use the tools at hand including pastors, teachers, and the elders of our churches. But the greatest thing we need to learn how to use is the Word of God and the only way this can be accomplished is to spend time studying every day. Scripture reading, meditation, memorization and prayer are habits developed by those who are dedicated to finding answers in order to make an eternal difference.
I want to encourage you to do several things:
- Develop good study habits by making reading the Word a daily priority.
- Designate a time for prayer everyday.
- Devote yourself to memorizing Scripture.
- Seek to spend some personal time with your pastors & teachers in order to ask questions and help you grow.