Oh, Those Lost Opportunities!

Thursday, July 5, 2012
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Beautiful For Spacious Skies"1 (Lyrics)

Mark 10:26-27 – And they were shocked and exceedingly astonished, and said to Him and to one another, Then who can be saved? Jesus glanced around at them and said, With men [it is] impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God. (AMP)

My work and my living accommodation were both in the same building — thus my little boxer dog was usually at my feet under the desk. But she was getting restless, and I realized that it was time to take her for a walk. The Christian ministry that I worked for backed onto a huge space which had been a derelict building, now demolished. Picking my way through the mounds of bricks and mortar, I suddenly came across a young man who had selected a mound of rubble for a couch and was lying there silent and expressionless. How I wished that my dog were beside me, for she was excellent at encouraging a conversation. With her tail too short to wag, she would advance towards a stranger with her whole body twisting to make up for the lack of her tail, usually causing much laughter. Today, she had quickly left me for more urgent needs.

I could think of nothing to say. I noticed that his trouser cuff had slipped up his leg a little, revealing the many wine sores. I wanted to engage this silent man in conversation, but what could I say which would break down the barriers which life had built up? We were two individuals from two different worlds. Could I share with him the fact that there is One who knows all about his needs and deeply loves him — One Who gave His life for him that he might discover a life of joy and satisfaction and victory? How I wanted to tell him that God loves him. Instead, I weakly said, "It's a lovely day, isn't it?"

He did not answer.

I cannot estimate the number of times that I have revisited that site to see a living picture of a life without hope and to pray for that stranger. I do not need a name for my Lord to know the recipient of my prayers, for my Lord sees the picture in my heart. Today, I question in my mind whether it would have been the right time to introduce to the stranger the way to discover a life of joy and hope, and if not, perhaps it would have angered him and driven him further away from this joy. I often question myself as to whether I really did lose an opportune time. I cling to a suggestion found in a little chorus in The Salvation Army Song Book:

    Lord, lay some soul upon my heart,
    And love that soul through me;
    And may I humbly do my part,
    To win that soul through Thee.

Many of us know of a person who truly needs God to give them a life of joy and hope. May each of us accept the responsibility to hold that person in our heart in prayer, not just for today, but for years to come. It may not be revealed to us that the battle is won, but neither shall we have lost an opportune moment — to pray.

Prayer: Our gracious heavenly Father, we bring to You this person who needs You, in the name of Your Son, our Saviour, Christ Jesus. Amen.

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Vena Poole

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