8/22/12 Jose, Arturo both in their 50's
In a very, very small way, but significant to me, I experience the death and resurrection of Jesus every day as I fulfill my goal of daily sharing the Gospel. I confess I usually look forward to sharing my faith not with joy but with dread, maybe a little like what Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane in anticipation of the cross. I'm not sure what it is -the fear of the unknown, the possibility of rejection, my lack of confidence in my own abilities, the transition from my comfort zone into spiritual warfare - but whatever it is tempts me to pray "Take this cup (of suffering) away oh Lord!". If I were to rely on my emotions, I would never move forward out of this dreadful place. Fortunately, I have a goal - not a promise that would only set me up for failure - but a goal that I ask God to help me with. I am over three years into this daily goal now, and have come to view it as one of the best decisions I have made in my life as a Christian. It is more like a gift from God. It moves me out of my comfort zone, out into the world, and past those first few ackward moments of talking to a stranger. It isn't easy, but there's hope. It may be Friday, but Sundays coming! A few days ago, this place of dread was especially difficult. I had been busy all day and had no time to witness. I still wanted to meet my goal, but I looked at going out from the comfort of my house into the dark night with dread, and probably some laziness. But by God's grace I went anyway, and had several good conversations including one with a man named Jose and his friend Arturo. I had the privilege of sharing Gospel truths and the joy of knowing I had been obedient to God's call. I have the hope of one day seeing how God might use that conversation to reach Jose and Arturo. I can relate to Paul, who wrote both "I die every day" (1 Cor. 15:31) and "Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Cor. 9:16) I went home rejoicing, feeling like I had been resurrected! It is infinitely better than staying in my comfort zone and dying a long, slow death with no hope for the future. Having a goal like this is truly a gift from God.