Oct 25, 2016

Their Desperate Plea

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Marlene stands at the bus stop, tapping her foot and pulling her thick, wool jacket tighter around her thin shoulders.  A brisk wind blows through the air, grabbing the rain and throwing it back into her face like hundreds of tiny bees stinging simultaneously.  Grumbling to herself, she folds her arms.  Her eyes scan the road before her for the hundredth time.  Every vehicle imaginable rushes by, splashing dark mud onto the edges of her coat.  Every vehicle - except the bus.

She almost doesn't notice the nudge at her elbow.  Another teenager stands there, glancing down at the iPod in her hands.  Neon earplugs block out the sound of the street as she takes a quick moment to glance up and down the road.  Marlene watches as she steps off the sidewalk.

It happens all at once.  Marlene sees a car turn onto the road at the last second.  The glaring headlights shine into her eyes through the bitter rain.  She sees the young girl push on, unaware of the danger.  In only seconds, a million thoughts rush through her brain.  The girl will die.  I could reach out and grab her back.  I could save her life.  No one else is close enough.  It's one step...or death.

But the mud, the freezing air...and what if someone sees me and thinks I'm weird?  Marlene turns her eyes away.  She glances down the street, a smile lighting her face as she finally sees the bus making his way up the road.  But her decision comes with a cost.

A scream.  A squeal of tires.  A deathly silence.  And then all at once, a dozen bypasses rush onto the scene, yelling, screaming for help.  But it's too late.  They all know that as they stare at the still body.  The person who would never move again.  Never smile.  Never see a sunrise.  Never feel a gentle, spring breeze rustle their face.  Never feel love glowing in their heart.

Marlene trudges onto the bus.  She shrugs.  It wasn't her fault.  Surely, if the girl was meant to live, God could have sent someone else to save her.  It must have just been her time.

The growing darkness embraces the bus as it rushes into the distance and away.  Away from the tears, the pain, the death.  Away from the memories.  The nightmares.

Away from her costly decision.






Every one of us should leave that story with a similar description of Marlene in mind.  Morbid.  Repulsive.  Selfish.  She definitely isn't someone who we would want to be like.  Who in their right mind would willingly let someone suffer - or die - when we could prevent it?  If all it took was one little step, who wouldn't take that opportunity to save a life?

What if I told you that we are like Marlene?

You are like her.  I am like her.  I have willingly let someone walk by me who was headed towards death.  I have made the decision to let that person leave without warning them.  And why?  It's more comfortable.  It's easier.


There is an important truth that we so often miss:  10 out of 10 people die.  Everyone around you - your family, friends, strangers, enemies - they will all die.  What's next?

As Christians, we hold the answer to that question.  We have hope!  JESUS is the reason we don't have to fear death.  He is the reason we can have joy, peace, and true life.  He is the reason that the future doesn't have to be a bleak, scary horizon, full of doubt and fear.

Christians hold a priceless treasure in their hands.  The Good News is a key.  We are all held captive by the chains of death.  Sin.  Fear.  Evil.  Yet there is hope!  The Good News of Jesus' measureless love for us can break those bonds.  It can loosen our fetters so that we walk free!  Free forever!

But why is the area of witnessing one that we tend to avoid?  Why do we look at it as a "duty" or a horrible task that comes along with being a Christian?

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave us a clear-cut command, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."  But what else did He say? "I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  (see Mark 16 and Matthew 28)

Yes, witnessing can be uncomfortable.  But why do we fear what man thinks of us when we know that God has commanded us to share His love?  We might be rejected, but God is still honored.  And do you think that there is any chance, any chance at all that you will get to heaven and hear, "You were a great person, but you shared My love too much?"  No...I think most of us will get the exact opposite words.  Why wouldn't we be sharing God's love as much as possible?  What could hinder us from this honor?  The honor of representing Jesus on this earth as His messengers?

I know that many of us struggle in this area.  When we think of sharing the Gospel, we make excuses.  Our fear often grabs our tongues.  We remain silent.  I struggle with this often, but we need to remember He is with us always.  We can do all things through Christ!  What great news this is.  We don't have to rely on our own strength, ability, or intelligence.  We only need to trust Him.

Will you step out and share the Good News?  Or will you let them walk straight towards death without uttering a warning?

As a side note, if you are struggling with witnessing, I really recommend a book by Mark Cahill that was very encouraging in this area in my own life.  One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven is full of practical tips, encouragement, and real-life examples that impacted me, making me want to share God's love to everyone. =)  It might change the way you view witnessing as well.

Can you think of lost people around you who need to hear the Gospel?  How can you take definite steps today to encourage them towards a relationship with God?  Comment below!

33 comments:

  1. What deep, life-altering thoughts! Isn't it funny how we often loose sight of the eternally significant among everyday happenings. Funny... but costly.

    I think of three people in particular who I want to encourage towards a relationship with God. The hard thing about witnessing is that the people we witness to don't often see the urgency themselves. How do you think we can empathize with lost people and share the gospel with them like we truly believe it's a matter of eternal life and eternal death?

    Also, I really like your little story. "A brisk wind blows through the air, grabbing the rain and throwing it back into her face like hundreds of tiny bees" <33

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    1. Hosanna, I'm so excited to tell you that I'm helping a friend of mine as she considers surrendering her life to God. When I read your this post, God put her on my heart, so I started a conversation about Him with her. My friend's name is Chanelle. As God brings her to your mind throughout the next few days, could you please pray for her? Thank you again for your post, my friend.

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    2. Yes, Jordy...it is so easy to loose sight of what really matters in life. =( We too quickly fall into our daily lives, forgetting Him. It's definitely something that most Christians in the 21st century struggle with. =/

      That is a hard question to answer. How do we encourage and show the unsaved the importance of accepting Christ right now instead of waiting? Ray Comfort, an evangelist I respect, makes many films about witnessing to different people across the USA. When he is witnessing, if someone shows interest in the Gospel, he tells them not to wait to make that important decision because they don't know the day they die. They could be in a car accident before they even get home that night! Showing it from that perspective might help them realize the seriousness of eternity. Another helpful reminder is, "When you go to bed tonight, make sure you know where you are going if you die. You might not wake up tomorrow morning." What are your thoughts on those two ways? Do you have other suggestions?

      I'll keep Chanelle in my prayers. ♥ Thank you for sharing! How glad I am that God is using you in her life. =)

      Thank you, my dear friend!

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    3. Those seem like two great ways of encouraging a person to think about eternity - particularly if the person has already shown interest, as you said. I guess it's considerably harder to help a person see the importance of their decision to trust Jesus or not when they haven't already showed that basic interest.

      I think that perhaps another way of helping people to see this is to talk about how it's relevant to their lives, too. I sometimes wonder if some people think that Christianity is some sort of obscure interest I have, but that it's not "for everyone". What do you think?

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    4. Definitely! If you talk about all that God has done for you, instead of sharing how He loves the person you are speaking to, it will probably be accepted as bragging... or preaching. =) You have to show the unsaved the gravity of their sin and how much they need Jesus' saving power. Only then will it become personal in their lives.

      I admire your heart for sharing His love with others!

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    5. Hehe. When you said "gravity of sin" it made me think of David Platt. I don't know if you're familiar with him, but he's a pastor whose sermons I like to listen to.

      Thank you for your kind words. You seem to always have something encouraging to say. It's very refreshing!

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    6. YES!!! In fact, David Platt's sermon series Threads is partly what inspired me in the area of witnessing! It is about how to twine the Gospel into our regular conversations, especially in regards to witnessing. How cool that you listen to his sermons as well! Another favorite that we listen to often is Francis Chan. =)

      Thank you. ♥ While I often fail, I hope that I will one day be conformed into His image.

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    7. Yes! I love to listen to Francis Chan's sermons, too! I don't have a regular habit of listening to either of them, but when I do listen to a sermon on YouTube, they are probably the two people I go to first.

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    8. I know how that is. =) I don't watch many sermons either, except for on Sunday. However, we do home church which allows us to watch Platt or Chan every week. =) (which is what we often end up doing!)

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    9. What?? You do home church too?? So many similarities!

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  2. Oh my, that story was such a powerful illustration! I was reading along, and I'm thinking, MARLENE!! Like who cares if people think you're weird?! Get out there!! But then you brought it closer to home, and that impacted me, because I actually think the same thoughts Marlene did: people will think I'm weird, maybe it wasn't God's timing, God could use someone else,etc. It's crazy how I am unwilling to look a little strange for the sake of saving lives.

    Anyway, this post has given me a lot to think about, Hosanna. And I'm wanting to read that book (The One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven) even more now. :) Thanks for sharing, and may we all speak up for God more often. xx

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    1. Your kind words mean so much to me, Jessica. =) I struggle with the same doubts. If only we would put our selfishness aside and focus on the souls of others instead of our silly schedules and desires. One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven said that if we don't have a desire to share the Gospel with the lost, most likely our perspectives are off. If we are focused on ourselves instead of others, how do you think we can switch our focus? Isn't it the craziest thing that we care about what others think of us, even though they will eventually understand that those who shared the Truth with them were the only ones who truly loved and cared about them?

      Yes, my friend! May we all speak up for God more often. ♥

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  3. This is so deep! I love it! :)

    So glad I visited your blog today!

    With love and all joy,
    Allie D.
    www.alliesblogdesigns.blogspot.com
    www.friendlovesatalltimes.blogspot.com
    www.sincerelyallied.blogspot.com
    www.spreadingmyjoy.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm glad that my post impacted you, Allie! Keep shining for Jesus. =)

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  4. This was an awesome blog post Hosanna! Your story nearly made me cry. This post was so deep and moving.

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    1. Awww, Aubrey! ♥ Don't cry. =) *hugs* I'm thankful that it impacted you though. While it's easy to become impacted and then forget again (I do it all the time *sigh*), let's both try to live in His strength and share the Good News, asking for His help! ♥

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  5. Wow, girl! That story makes us all be like "We would never do that" until you say "this is like witnessing". Eeep. How often are we scared and terrified of what others will think? It really shows that we don't love them enough when we're not willing to be bold with the Gospel. I think it's true though that it's not wrong to be scared. It's completely human. But it's what you do with that fear...do you keep hiding or are you courageous and step out even when you're scared? This post reminds me of the Britt Nicole song "How the Lost Get Found". So powerful! Love this post! I'm always pretty amazed how God is teaching us the same things. Like right at the time that you picked up that witnessing book I picked up a different one. :) Crazy twins! ;)

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    1. Just wanted to reply to this comment and say I LOVE THAT BRITT NICOLE SONG. I sing it allll the time. =)
      -Ariel

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    2. Hahaha...very true, Hannah. We do tend to be convicted of the same things quite often. Or are you just copying me...? Hmm... =)

      Yes, I agree! It's not wrong to be scared to witness. But it IS wrong to be frightened and then not witness because of that. Our fear shouldn't control our actions. Sadly, however, it often does. That's why we need to be praying for both clear opportunities AND boldness.

      Like Ariel, I really like that song! =) It's one of my favorites by Britt Nicole. "Why do we go with the flow? Why take the easier road?"

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  6. Hosanna, that story was so amazing. It really hit home the truth about our fear of people and sharing our hope for eternity!!!

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    1. Thank you!!! =) I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I hope it changed the way you viewed witnessing. Even though it's often difficult and frightening, our simple words, if God wills, could change a life for eternity! How amazing is that?!

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  7. Wow, this was an awesome post, Hosanna! Thank you for reminding us how we need to not worry about what others think, and just obey God by sharing His amazing love with others. ♥

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    1. Yes, Emily, but how hard it is to stop worrying about what others think. =/ We need to constantly have a heavenly perspective, remembering that we share our faith to bring Him glory. While we might look foolish to unbelievers, we are carrying out the great commission: Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation. (Mark 16:15) Our lives are for Him alone.

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  8. Amen, Hosanna!! Great post!!
    God has really helped me in the past year to step out of my comfort zone with witnessing. The next step for me is witnessing to those who are hard to love. Who nobody really likes. How do I respond when others talk bad about them? Even if it's true? And what does it look like to be invested in their life. To keep at it when no one else will. It's really hard. Like, really hard. But it's sort of a double whammy because you get to witness to the person, and then everyone who sees is thinking, "Why is Lydia hanging out with that person? Nobody likes them. Pretty sure Lydia doesn't even like them." Lol.
    Anyway, that was long, didn't mean to reply to a blog post with a blog post LOL but hope you have a blessed day, Hosanna, love you tons <3 <3

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    1. I love you tons too, Lydia. ♥ Your words are a constant source of encouragement to me.

      That is hard. But the un-loving people in our lives need Jesus just as much as the friendly, unsaved people we run across. And when Jesus was on earth, He hung out with those people - the sinners, tax collectors, etc. The "respectable" people of society looked down on Him for it...but He did it anyway. "Is a servant above His master?" As His servant, we should be willing - no, eager - to be His hands to those who need the most love...but how hard it is. I admire you so much for being willing to reach out and touch those lives. ♥ While it's hard, NOTHING is impossible with God.

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    2. Amen, sister!! Love Mark 2:17 - "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

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    3. Mmhmm. But for some reason, we like to hang out with the healthy, righteous people the best. *sigh* There was a quote that I loved that said, "When we step out of our comfort zone, we step into God's comfort zone." What an awesome thought!

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  9. Wow! You did a great job at illustrating that. I almost cried. This is such an important message. I'm so glad you shared this.
    Kaitlyn Woodward.

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words, Kaitlyn. ♥ I think many Christians struggle in the area of witnessing... I know I often do. I'm glad that I was able to encourage you in this small way. Keep shining for Jesus, my friend! =)

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  10. HOSANNA. Girl, I have absolutely no words. This was amazing, and I was just reading it and going, "Thank You for Hosanna, Thank You for Hosanna..." Literally, you have no clue how I feel about this post, because the lost have a STRONG hold on my heart. I am soooo glad you have this same passion!! I really need to e-mail you and we can talk more about this...
    -Ariel

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    1. What she said, basically. I can't word it any better :D. This was such a wonderful post, and you wrote it BEAUTIFULLY! Thank you so much for this.

      ~ Savannah
      scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    2. Ariel and Savannah, you are too sweet. ♥ I'm glad that my thoughts were able to encourage you. It's funny... I share what I am struggling with, and it often helps both me (as I write) and others (as they read)! I'm so thankful to have you beautiful girls as my sisters in Christ. ♥ How wonderful that we are on this journey together. I pray you girls have boldness for sharing Jesus' love. =)

      Ariel, feel free to send me an email at any time! I would love to encourage each another in this way. =) Your heart for the lost is a beautiful gift from God. ♥

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Thank you for commenting! You made my day, and I'm so excited to become better friends as we seek to have a heart like His. ♥