One day while making a purchase in a local shop I found myself literally in the middle of a conversation about psychics. The person behind me in line and a person behind the counter were discussing their experiences with mediums. In many ways it was as if they were discussing their experiences with anyone in a service-oriented business. They complained about the psychicís lack of responsibility in keeping appointments. The one behind me noted that she had gotten conflicting information from two separate psychics.
I would like to be able to tell you I engaged the two of them in conversation and led both to the Lord. What really happened, though, was that I paid for my purchase and left.
Still, I couldnít get the episode out of my mind. Finally I decided to write a letter and deliver it to the store, hoping someone there would know who to give it to. Here are some parts of that letter.
Dear unknown friend,
I overheard your conversation at _________________Saturday--the conversation about going to a psychic.
I so much wanted to ask you why you went to a psychic. I image a person's motivation would be a need to know something about herself, her future?
I hope you will not see what I am doing here as putting my nose in your business where it doesn't belong. I was standing in the middle of your conversation so not hearing it was not an option! More than that, though, I believe I was supposed to hear that conversation. I do not believe things happen in our lives by accident. I believe that in your longing for answers for your life you must have prayed, or perhaps someone who cares about you prayed for you, and that the only God who has loving power to answer prayer heard.
Would you be encouraged to hear these words from someone who had the power to make them true? "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Would you like to be able to say this to such a one who could make such plans? "Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And being with You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
You are, of course, a free agent. You may go to psychics for answers if you wish. But I believe God arranged our "chance encounter" because He wants you to know there's a better place to find answers.
"Peace I leave with you," Jesus said, "My peace I give you, I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
The verses I've written here are all from the Bible: Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 73:23-26, and John 14:27. I wonder if you've encountered the Bible before? We all tend to bring a lot of baggage with us to the Bible--by that I mean preconceptions from someone who has tried to push it down our throats or misconceptions because of someone else's perspective that was promoted as fact. Even when we approach it with an open mind it can still seem pretty overwhelming and difficult to comprehend. But what it contains is treasure. I recently read of a man who spent millions of dollars and the majority of his life searching for a certain Spanish galleon that had gone down in a storm over 350 years ago. He was willing to do this because that ship had been carrying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of treasure. (And he found it!) The Bible is like that. The treasure is there, we just have to dig.
More important than the willingness to dig, though, is the conviction that you are loved by the Author. Isn't it funny that I, a stranger, know without a doubt that the Author of the Bible loves you? I know it because I have learned of and experienced His love for me. And I know that He doesn't withhold His love from anyone who comes seeking. I also know that that is why He made us all in the first place: because He is love, because love needs a recipient, because God longed for a family into which He could pour Himself and His love.
Have you ever been in love? It changes everything, doesn't it? You could lose your job, your house could burn down, your best friend could move away, but there's always that underlying security and joy in knowing you are loved. That's what it's like to have a relationship with Jesus. It's much more that just getting answers to some questions.
I am just going to have to trust that God will get this letter into your hands. If you want to give me a piece of your mind for not minding my own business, or, maybe (preferably!), ask me any questions about the things I've said hereÖ(I gave my name and phone number.)
God bless you, unknown friend,
I delivered the letter to the shop and, although I never received a response, I am trusting that Godís Word will not return empty but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11).
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