Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Missed Opportunity

Its been almost two years since the loss of my friend.
I am not sure I can fully explain what her death has done to me.
It has brought me low
and caused me to reconsider my posture
when it comes to evangelism.
This woman was a great and loyal friend.
We spent time together sharing life.
She had a low view of God and Christ's redeeming power.
And although I knew this,
there were very few times that I made attempts
to share who Christ was to me
and what He could be for her.
I am ashamed that I did not try harder,
or value her enough
to think it should have been more important
than sharing recipes
and how to care for our kids and parents.

I thought that there would be plenty of time for that.
I did not feel the need to rush in.
And then my opportunity was gone.
Sure she knew I attended church
and that Bible study was important to me.
She even accepted my invitation to attend Easter service one year.
She saw many ways that I was working out my faith in my life
But....we never specifically spoke of it

I found out after her death 
of the deep dark hurting heart that she had been carrying around.
She never told me
All those days we spent hours together
I never knew of the self abuse that was going on
Why was I so blind to it?
In some ways I think I chose to be blind to it
This is what hurts my heart now
If I could get even one hour back
to hold her hands and look into her eyes
to share the hope of Jesus
to really listen
But I can't

I believe that there is still purpose in this loss of my friend
What can I take away from this?
Don't wait....
we live among those that need hope
Don't wait...
be brave and speak the love of Jesus
Don't wait...
we all have a broken heart over something.

If I love and care for someone
not only should I share my brokenness
I should do my best to understand theirs.
There is nothing more important for me to do this coming year
than to be an instrument of hope
Everything else is so small

As far as it depends on me...
I must speak
even when I am nervous that it could close the door on a relationship
I must practice
peacemaking, Jesus style. 
with purpose, 
open hearted, 
willing to be misunderstood and belittled.

There is no time to waste
Take it from me...

Matthew 5:13-16 (AMP)
 “You are the salt of the earth; 
but if the salt has lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? 
It is no longer good for anything, 
but to be thrown out 
and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery].
“You are the light of [Christ to] the world. 
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 
nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, 
but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 
Let your light shine before men 
in such a way that they may see 
your good deeds and moral excellence, 
and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.

1 John 4:7-19(AMP)

Beloved, let us [unselfishly] 
love and seek the best for one another, 
for love is from God; 
and everyone who loves [others] is born of God 
and knows God [through personal experience]. 
The one who does not love 
has not become acquainted with God 
[does not and never did know Him], 
for God is love. 
[He is the originator of love, 
and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]
By this the love of God was displayed in us, 
in that God has sent His [One and] only begotten Son 
[the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind] 
into the world so that we might live through Him. 
In this is love, not that we loved God, 
but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation 
[that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] 
for our sins 
[fulfilling God’s requirement 
for justice against sin and placating His wrath]. 
Beloved, if God so loved us [in this incredible way], 
we also ought to love one another. 
No one has seen God at any time. 
But if we love one another [with unselfish concern], 
God abides in us, 
and His love [the love that is His essence abides in us and] 
is completed and perfected in us. 
By this we know [with confident assurance] 
that we abide in Him and He in us, 
because He has given to us His [Holy] Spirit. 
We [who were with Him in person] 
have seen and testify [as eye-witnesses] 
that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
Whoever confesses and acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, 
God abides in him, and he in God. 
We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], 
and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] 
the love which God has for us. 
God is love, 
and the one who abides in love abides in God, 
and God abides continually in him. 
In this [union and fellowship with Him], 
love is completed and perfected with us, 
so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment 
[with assurance and boldness to face Him]; 
because as He is, 
so are we in this world. 
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. 
But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, 
because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, 
so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] 
is not perfected in love 
[has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]. 
We love, because He first loved us. 

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