Wednesday, November 7, 2012

“Always Be Prepared…”


I took a class the other day entitled Generations at Work.  I thought it would be helpful in my workplace as well as in my relationships with people of all ages.  There were 30 people in the class which consisted of men and women from different generations.  I sat down next to a woman I had walked in with and who I remembered from a previous class.  I quickly noticed the woman on the other side of me had pictures of children on her cell phone.   After asking her if they were her grandchildren, we then began to share photos and stories of our families.  I had settled in for my four hour class and was quite comfortable.

“Always be prepared…”

After a little while we were instructed to count off around our tables and move to a new group according to our assigned number.  I was placed at a table with a man and a woman around my age and we enjoyed discussing the “good old days” of our youth.  We reminisced about unlocked doors and multiple generations in the home.  The gentleman mentioned the days gone by in his home as being a spiritual time.  As he spoke I could tell he had a grandmother who loved the Lord.

“Always be prepared…”

Soon we were directed to choose a listener, a speaker and an observer for a listening exercise. In our group the man was the speaker, the other woman was the listener and I was the observer.  The speaker was told he had three minutes to talk about anything he wanted, anything.  The listener was told to empty her filter, that is, to remove any junk or preconceived notions, listen, and repeat back all that was said.  My job was to watch, and watch I did, in amazement, as God announced His presence at our table.

“Always be prepared…”

The speaker began telling us of a phone call he had received from a friend.  The friend had a question about where God was in the loss of life during the hurricane that occurred recently.  This man shared a clear and loving response to his friend which began with the fall of Adam and Eve.  He shared God’s desire for the beautiful garden to be their home instead of the one filled with thistles and briars where they lived after their disobedience.  He spoke of Satan and the evil in our world.  He then told the man of God’s love and basically assured him that God’s back is never turned on the good or bad events in our lives.  This gentle man had taken his friend’s question and handed him back hope.  As the man shared I could not stop smiling.  As she listened attentively, so she could repeat back what he said, I wondered what she was thinking.  When it was her turn she spoke back, almost verbatim, all of the words he had spoken.  This may have been the first time she had ever spoken words about the power and love of God.  I will never know, but He does.

“Always be prepared…”

The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15, Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect.” 

Did I mention that this man was so excited to share his story that he started before the timer was set and he had to stop and wait?  He had begun with, “The other day I got a call from a friend who had a question,” and then he had to stop.  This did not derail him.  God had His way. I am wondering how often you and I get derailed and don’t let God have His way when we need to speak hope into a situation? I think sometimes we become so accustomed to looking beyond a person that we don’t really see them or their circumstance. As a result we don’t realize their desperation for hope; the hope we have in Jesus.  Are you prepared at a moment’s notice to give someone a reason for the hope you have?  Jesus has promised to supply everything we need to do what He has called us to do, so lets do it!

“Always be prepared…”

~Donna Bowles

Dear God, please help me to always be prepared to give a person hope in the name of your son, Jesus.  I do not want to be distracted or derailed from the opportunity to share your story with someone who desperately needs You.  Please help me to remember that my job is obedience and your job is results.

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