Typical day at the hospital volunteering:: organizing! I was focusing intensely on categorizing the patient care cart I forgot that the other volunteer was in the room with me organizing clothes. As I remembered, I asked her if she heard about the shooting at Short Hills Mall where a man was murdered in front of his wife over a car. She came closer to me and expressed her feelings of uneasiness and not understanding why this kind of thing happens.
After we verbally affirmed how awful and tragic and heart-wrenching this is we returned to our task at hand. As I was elbow deep in varieties of bar soap, I thought to myself, “Ask her about after life. No, Christine, she’ll think you’re crazy. Seriously, this is the perfect opportunity. But how do I explain this kind of situation? She isn’t going to understand. Just say something!”
Then she speaks before I do. And says, “I think I’m going to go back to the playroom and clean up before the ice cream social. I think I really need to do that.” As I watched her leave, I immediately realized the opportunity that I missed. And I thought, this is why these things happen.
Bear with me.
Our God is not a God who wanted this to happen or intended it to happen. He is a loving and kind God who is also angry at this situation and I can guarantee you, grieving over this. (Genesis 6:6-8) But, He will use this for good (Romans 8:28) and I could have been a part of that today. I could have shared the gospel with my Jewish friend. I could have let her know that it’s OK to be sad, and it’s OK to be angry but we have hope because Christ has come. He offers the peace and security that our souls crave in this crazy world we live in. We don’t need to fear death because He came to overcome death!
This man did not deserve this. And yet in his death, God can use it in a million different ways to draw people closer to Himself. Like today. I had the chance to share the Good News in response to this man’s story. We need to take these opportunities of suffering to share that if we receive Christ as Lord we will live with Him in eternity! And it’s not just a promise for when we die, but abundant life until we die (John10:10). When evil strikes, we have the assurance that as difficult as it is to live on this earth, we’re just passing through.
Friends, please do not lose sight of those around you who need the Gospel. As we meditate this week on the amazing act of Jesus coming into this world, don’t contain this joy just for your own heart! Share the Good News. Be bold. Be willing to look foolish so that God’s Word, His story and the truth of how he can change our lives would save and restore another soul.
“The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given. And he will be called
Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:1,6