Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. (Romans 15:2 ESV)
The other day, my friend Sheila shared with us about a recent visit she had with a neighbor. Sheila had been befriending a nearby lady in hopes that she would build a relationship and have an opportunity to share Jesus with her.
Finally the day came when the neighbor invited Sheila in for tea, (which being from England, suited my friend just fine!) When the woman went into the kitchen to put the kettle on, Sheila began to pray that the Lord would give her the right words to speak.
So imagine her surprise then, when the elderly lady passed her a proper teacup, to be greeted by a floating fly, staring back at her, belly up. Now it’s important that we are equipped for every good work, and Sheila usually is, but this? This she was not equipped for. Deftly, she leaned forward to take some sugar with a teaspoon and then as she stirred, tried to catch the dead fly on the spoon. What on earth she was going to do with the floater was yet to be determined. But, in order to build up and reach her neighbor, she did, with a quick prayer, drink the tainted tea.
You know what, ladies? Poor Sheila isn’t the only one who is sometimes faced with evangelistic dilemmas. We too can be called out of our comfort zones to make new friends and share our faith. We don’t know what kind of unexpected things will meet us on our journey, but – like my friend – we need to keep our heart and eyes focused on their need for a Savior and not on any dead or unpleasant things they may have lurking in their lives. We can trust that the Lord will provide us with what we need when it’s needed.
Father, we thank You that You choose to engage us in reaching the lost and sharing Your love. Help us to learn to relax and see the humor in circumstances that may be stretching us beyond what we would think or even imagine. Holy Spirit, thank You that You equip us with all we need to do what You’ve called us to do. Amen!