3. “I’M FAR TOO OLD FOR JESUS.”
(From "Souls for Whom Jesus Died NZ.")
A question that often faces me when witnessing is, “How far to go in this conversation about the Lord”? What I means is that with some people you quickly start to realise they really don’t want to hear any more on this subject. So should I break it off as soon as possible and bring the conversation to an amicable close? Or does the Lord want me to persevere despite the vibes I’m getting?! Answer: Rely on the Spirit to know when and when not. (And ask forgiveness when I wasn't listening properly!)
After spending one afternoon in 2002 with my friends Peter & Lois Havill at a lovely Spirit-filled SIM/MECO prayer meeting at Papakura, I was outside the Manurewa Post Office and saw an elderly lady in a wheelchair who'd earlier gone past me. I came up and chatted with her first, then asked if she was a Christian. "I was an Anglican but I have no time for all that now." I asked if she knew Jesus loved her? "No, I don't and I’m far too old now. I'm 94." I encouraged her that it was never too late. Even today she could believe and receive Jesus' love. She objected to the suffering in the world & if God were there & all-powerful why didn't He care & step in? I replied that He does care very much and it grieves Him greatly what man does to man. God is not to blame.
After pursuing this subject a little further I asked if I could give her something to read about my family & about Jesus. At first she replied, “My daughter wouldn’t like me talking about this subject.” Then to try to put me off further she said, "You won't get my daughter to believe in God!" (Her daughter was her wheelchair pusher & had left her mother there while she went into a shop.) "I believe even she can believe," I replied.
"May I pray for you today?" I asked her. "You can do whatever you like." "No," I replied, "I want you to be happy I am praying for you." She paused, then said more gently, "Yes, you can pray for me." I asked her name – "Dorothy." "Dorothy, I will be praying that you come to know God, to trust and to love Him. God bless you. Will you take my leaflet?" She smiled a frail smile, and said quietly, “Quick slip it here under my blanket before my daughter returns.” And I left her.
I pray Dorothy receives the Lord before she passes from this life.
Lesson 2: Don’t stop a conversation just because the person says a few negative things. Warning: Satan is not only trying to stop me continuing the conversation. He’s also trying to get the other to do exactly the same thing. Action: Press on as far as possible, in love. Reminder: Where will Dorothy go forever, possibly very soon (aged 94), if she never receives Jesus as Lord?
Dorothy would have wanted to have avoided this conversation. Why? Satan had gripped her with error & fear. She was too old for Jesus. Her daughter was an unbeliever & didn’t like talking about Jesus. Did Jesus want her to stay in error & fear? Of course not. Which is why I had to keep going. I must risk offending someone for the greater good of them responding to the offer of salvation in Jesus. Yet I must also do it in love. That is the key and the challenge. I believe Dorothy saw my deep love in Jesus for her.