Ali and Matt Hooper are the definition of servants for Jesus. I am always astounded with where God is leading in their lives and how they humbly try to follow every step of the way. They are not perfect, but to me they are the perfect reflection of the grace and power of Jesus Christ; I am blessed to share them with you as guest bloggers.
One of our holiday traditions includes sending Christmas cards to friends and family. Recently I ran into a friend who had received this year’s card. She thanked me for the card, and then said, “I smiled reading your note; you sound so happy.”
I thanked her and then rambled on, “I have my moments, but the kids help me appreciate the simple pleasures in life.” She then added, “Reading your note, I thought, she’s so happy and I’m so not. I wonder what her secret is.” I gave her an awkward smile, and then I bombed. This friend, a fellow parent and someone who is not saved, had given me the perfect opportunity to share the Gospel with her.
In my head, I silently shared, Jesus! Jesus is my secret. But I bombed. I don’t remember what exactly I said to her, but it wasn’t the Gospel. Shame on me.
Later that I day I was beating myself up, disappointed that I didn’t share Jesus with her, and that I didn’t trust I Corinthians 2:4 “my message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.” Why did I not rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel?
But God is merciful. And He was quick to remind me of the details of that card and note. In the note, I spoke of how God has blessed my family. I wished blessings upon her family, and I even included a personal invitation to our church’s Christmas program. No, I did not share the Gospel that day, but I shared my life with her. With a kind note and a gracious attitude, I lived to show Jesus in my heart. Only God knows my friend’s fate. I have been praying like crazy for her and her family. After all, her words, though few, said so much: she is so happy, and I am so not.
I pray that next time when I am given the opportunity to share Jesus, I trust the Holy Spirit, remembering that it is His power that delivers the message. Until then, I will continue to rely on God to help me through the daily battles of parenting, and to allow me to find happiness in simple earthly pleasures. I also pray that I live in such a way that other parents can see my secret . . . Jesus.
Gospel Tip: Write out a one page personal mission statement for 2010. Not so much a list of resolutions but a testimony to where God has brought you and how you plan to follow Him in 2010. It will make it easier to verbalize when you are in the situation described above.