I called a loved one yesterday, and it turned into an exciting phone call.
We talked first about our concerns for another loved one who faced dire circumstances in his life after a series of wrong choices.
Then he shared the good news. He received Jesus as his savior in recent weeks.
He told me of some changes in his life—getting out of an unhealthy relationship with a woman, moving to a city hours away to get away from evil influences, giving up turning to substances to deal with anxiety, going to church every Sunday, and being excited about all he heard there.
He went on to give me details of the sermons.
Wow! This from a man who over the years avoided church because he found it boring.
I recalled years earlier when my husband and I brought him to our church as a teen. When the altar call came, he communicated, “I feel like I should go forward, but I don’t want to miss out on fun in high school.”
Not long after, his pursuit of fun led to many troubles. Still he continued to say, “no” to the Lord.
He recovered some, and went away to college. I didn’t see him too often in the years since, and we had no contact information. But there was a period where I heard he battled drug abuse.
He overcame that, and each time he would pop back into our lives since I would ask him if he was ready to say “yes” to Jesus.
And every time his answer remained, “I should, but…”
In recent years, he sought out my husband and me, and we would go out to lunch. He told us how much he enjoyed time with us, but still he resisted giving in to the Lord.
Now at the age of 37, the “yes” came.
“I used to think you were crazy because you always wanted to talk about God,” he said. “But you didn’t care what I thought. You never gave up on talking to me.
“Now I get it,” he continued. “I want to talk about God all the time now too.”
I rejoiced in that statement and to hear him declare these truths:
“Now I know there’s nothing in this world which can make my life better. Only God can.”
“The reason I battle anxiety is because of sin. I need to deal with the sin in my life.”
“Even pills a doctor gives are not the answer. The answers are in the Bible.”
“If I live a righteous life, that’s where I can find happiness.”
“It’s like I was living in the dark, and suddenly I’m in the light.”
I remember in recent weeks feeling bad that so many people I prayed for over the years continued to resist the Lord. This man was one of them.
Now suddenly God touched Him. His testimony reminded me of God’s power to draw people to Himself. No, I didn’t understand the timing, (it took a long time) but I celebrated the victory. And I rejoiced that God continued to lead me to plant seeds in his life. He expressed his gratitude for that again and again in our conversation.
“I don’t want to hang up,” he said. “I want to keep talking to you about all that’s happening in my life.”
I continue to celebrate this man who was lost and has now been found, who was blind and can now see. Soon my husband and I will go to see him and celebrate in person.
My conversation and the news from him remind me to keep on praying for those on my “continue to resist the Lord” prayer list. Some have been on my list for decades. But God is faithful. In His way and time He will bring them to Himself.
My phone conversation affirms to me the power of prayer and the power God has to soften a hardened heart and draw those who may seem like hopeless cases into his kingdom.
These verses come to mind:
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people…This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. “ (1 Timothy 2: 1, 3-4 NIV)
I look forward to others on my prayer list coming to know the Lord. The title and subtitle of a book I’m reading comes to mind: God Is Good: He’s Better Than You Think.
Note: I am also celebrating that in response to a recent blog I wrote, one of my best friends from high school prayed the salvation prayer. Praise the Lord!
This song came to mind after my conversation with my new brother in Christ.
“In The Light” by DC Talk