In May last year I noticed a beggar standing on the corner by the traffic light I pass every day from work. He had never been there before. When he first greeted me, I took an instant liking to him. He is so warm, sweet and funny. As the days went by the Holy Spirit stepped in- I think Richard standing at that traffic light was the Holy Spirit’s doing. He gave me compassion and love for Richard, and I would often bring him some lunch or pack some goodies for him. We quickly became friends.
He pressed heavily on my heart to speak to Richard about the gospel. Now, this has always frightened me – I get dry mouth, stutter and totally freeze. But I’ve learned those are times when I do it in my own flesh and strength. This time I prayed for the Holy Spirit to help me and to give me boldness. I found this was the key – before I left work every day I would pray for boldness and to say whatever He wanted me to say. I was quite surprised that I was not nervous and spoke freely – I could not do that ever without praying, I would always fail. When I would fail, I would be upset and think, “this is too hard, it’s like making a sales call!” 😉
Anyway, turned out Richard once upon a time read his Bible, but got into smoking marijuana and his life went downhill from there. I knew the day had to come when I had to ask if he would like to give his heart to Jesus. Two things were hindering me – complete nerves (because even though I had more boldness than ever, this was crunch time!) and the place where he stood made it difficult to talk. We could talk as long as the traffic light stayed red!
Days passed and I would drive away from that light not having asked him that important life changing decision, always thinking, “Ok, tomorrow!” One day as I drove away, the Holy Spirit firmly said, “Do not tarry!” I had to quickly look up the definition of tarry to refresh my memory if it indeed means ‘to wait’, and it does. Oops 😦
I decided I had better be obedient in case something happened to Richard! The next time I saw him, I found a spot to pull over and led him to salvation. He was so sweet, he did it with a huge smile on his face! And surprisingly said, “You know, the Bible says when two are gathered together, He is here with us. So God is here with us now!” I said, “Yes amen! And welcome to the Kingdom my buddy!”
This important lesson I will take with me always – to 1) pray for God-given opportunities to lead someone to salvation and not waste them and 2) always pray that the Holy Spirit gives me boldness in that day and leads me 100% in both words and actions.
I have not seen Richard for four months, but before that he told me that he had just gotten a part-time job! Isn’t that wonderful, how God already started working in his life!
Your Kingdom came, Your will was done 🙂