I wish I wasn't writing this post today. I wish I could have slept in (it's Saturday) and enjoyed a lazy beginning to this first weekend of fall, but I can't. I just HAD to write this new post and not use the one that was already written and ready to go.
As I look back on the events of the past 24-72 hours it is very easy to see what God was orchestrating. It is very easy to look back and see all the events and all of the opportunities God created. It seems as if God was trying to get a message delivered. And THAT is why I am up at 5:00AM on this Saturday morning. I'm delivering the message.
This story is directed at teens and young adults mostly, but if you don't know Jesus, if He is not Lord of your life, I pray you would pay attention and heed the warning I am about to relay to you. Here we go.
It must have been a month ago I guess, when I noticed a Facebook post from a young friend of mine. Her name is Sara (Sara is the daughter of my best friend, the person God used to call this lowly sinner to Himself). The Facebook post went something like this, "Feeling distant from God, I need to make some changes in my life."
There are a few types of Facebook posts that will spark a private message from me. A message about "feeling distant from God" is one of them. So I reached out to my young friend and asked if she would like to talk about it. She did and so we set up a time to meet - a nice, casual dinner at a local sports bar.
If you are reading this and happen to be a Facebook friend of mine, you saw the post I put on there this past Wednesday. This is what it said. "Had a wonderful visit with a friend last night. We talked about our lives, our families, but mostly we talked about God."
And Sara and I did just that. Most of our conversation was about God. She asked a few questions or expressed a few doubts. I tried my best to answer. As I look back at the conversation we had, all I can say is thanks be to God that His Word flowed freely from this too-often ineffective mouth.
It was a wonderful talk. I love Sara very much. There is nothing I would rather see more than for Sara , or any other person in my life, commit themselves 100% to Jesus and become an obsessed follower of Christ. But sadly, many young adults and teens today as torn. They know ABOUT Jesus. They have heard the stories. They've tried reading the Bible but it's "too boring." But they never commit fully. They know OF Him, but they don't KNOW Him. Know what I mean? Jesus put it this way in Matthew 15:8
"These people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;"
Sara's heart is not as "far from Him" as most people I know. She is close but is still learning, still holding back in some ways. But there is a desire in her to know Him. That's why we were having dinner after all. But the commitment, the 100% I'd-do-anything-for-Him faith that God desires is not quite there yet - not for Sara, not for most people and not for me. It's being blocked by two things that we are all exposed to everyday of our lives. The two biggest weapons Satan uses to seduce us and to keep us from following a life of Christ. Those two reasons are "the world in which we live" and "our selves."
The morning that the phone call came from the police, her mother and I had already prayed for Sara and for many others. For as much as I would like this awesome young lady commit herself to Christ in everything she says and does, I think her mother would like to see it even more. A parents prayer for their child has got to be THEE top prayer of any believing parent, that their children would come to know Jesus and make him Lord of their lives.
"Sara's been in an accident," were the words her mother spoke to me on her way out the door at work yesterday . . . on her way to the emergency room. Before Sara's mother had left the parking lot I was already contacting all of the prayer warriors I could think of, asking for prayer. Today I am happy to report that Sara is resting at home, rather uncomfortably I imagine, but she is alive and recovering from being hit by a car while simply crossing the street.
I post this picture of my young friend 1) because it's already on Facebook. If you are a friend of Sara's you have probably already seen it, and 2) I hope it serves as a reminder of just how fragile we are as human beings, and just how close we are to actually getting to meet Jesus, face-to-face, at any point in our lives.
Sara was blessed yesterday, protected by God I think, perhaps because He wants to use her to speak into someones life on His behalf, as her mother spoke into mine. Who knows. All I can say is Blessed be the name of the Lord!
To all my young friends out there, or to anyone for that matter, who does not have an intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe, PLEASE, make that happen today! You do NOT want to leave this world and meet a just and holy God without Someone to stand FOR us in heaven. Jesus endured death on a cross so that, through our faith in Him, we might have life. God's offer of immediate and total justification for all who come before Him is laying on the table . . . for you, for me. Let's not brush it aside. It's for you! Pick it up. Accept the gift! Call a friend, call your pastor, but PLEASE, don't be afraid to call on the Name above all names - Yeshua (Jesus).
Do you now what the name of Jesus means in Hebrew? It is from a verb meaning "to rescue" or "to deliver." Please, let Jesus rescue you today and let Him deliver you from evil . . .
"For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever."
I love you Sara. Get well soon. :)