Joshua Mabrey stared at the barrel of the gun. His life was about to be over, taken by his own will. Joshua was a good decent human being, had been all his life. He just didn’t know Christ, although he had been saved as a little boy. There was a time as a child when he loved Jesus very much, but then life got in the way of his faith.
He’d been given the opportunity to know Christ several times. He attended church, and Jesus spoke to him many times to come and follow Him to a life a ministry. He first heard the calling when he was in high school, but then he went off to college and met a girl. It was while he was there that Jesus started appearing in his dreams.
“Will you follow me, Joshua?” the Lord asked him a one night in a dream.
“Any other time, Lord, I would, but you see, there’s this girl I have fallen in love with, and I can’t be with her and follow you at the same time.”
Jesus nodded His head and the dream went away. Joshua woke with a feeling of dread, but the next day he got too busy with his girl to think much about the dream the night before. His girlfriend was a beauty to behold, and all he seemed to be able to think about was her. After all while, she took her beauty and moved on to another fellow, and Joshua was devastated.
Broken hearted, Joshua left school and joined the Army. He was deployed to Iraq soon after boot camp. It was horrible there, that war, but with his heartache, Joshua didn’t seem to notice. He learned what life was all about for the next few months, and it left him numb. One night he had a dream in which Christ came to him again.
“Will you follow me, Joshua?”
“Any other time, Lord, I would, but you see, I am fighting a war here, and I can’t follow you and fight at the same time.”
Jesus nodded his head and went away. Joshua woke again with that same feeling of dread, but the next day he didn’t have time to think of it. His best friend was killed by a bomb, and Joshua was again devastated.
Two months later Joshua was wounded in an explosion. He lost a leg during an amazing act of bravery. They kept him high on pain killers before sending him home. He won a purple heart for saving the lives of several others. When he got home, Christ came to him in a dream for the third time.
“Will you follow me, Joshua?”
“Any other time, Lord, I would, but you see, right now I am busy trying to learn to live without my leg, and I can’t do that and follow you at the same time.”
Jesus nodded sadly and the dream went away. This time Joshua woke with such a horrible feeling, and he couldn’t forget the dream of the night before. He felt different from the times he had denied Christ before. This time something inside of him revolted and he started to cry…
Joshua spent the next six months addicted to pain killers. His days turned into nights of living hell. His lost leg and the war in Iraq haunted him daily. Flashbacks filled his brain and he spiraled into a deep depression. He thought of his best friend being blown to bits in front of his eyes, and he wanted to die.
He dreamt of Jesus once again.
“Will you follow me, Joshua?"
“Any other time, Lord, I would, but you see, right now I am busy trying to survive.”
Jesus shook His head, went away, and Joshua woke up hearing voices.
“How many other times will you get?” A voice called out to him. Joshua felt there would not be another time. With all that had happened in the last two years, he decided to end it all. Life was just not worth living anymore. He went to his cabinet and took out a gun. He went to the bathroom and placed the barrel of the gun to his head.
He pulled the trigger.
Shaking, Joshua dropped the gun and went to his knees, praying for God to help him. He had just been granted a reprieve. He realized in that second he didn't want to die, but didn't know how to live.
This time Jesus appeared not in a dream, but in person. He knelt beside Joshua, put His arms around him and held him close. Joshua sobbed uncontrollably and poured out his heart. Jesus wept with him.
“Joshua, I realize you are busy at the moment, but will you follow me now?”
Joshua looked at Jesus and said. “Lord, I can’t think of any other time.”