Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)
TITLE: God Came Near
By Amber Sa
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“Long time no see, Jack!” exclaimed the fellowship leader who jumped from his seat to greet him. Jack startled and thought he was going to charge over to embrace him.
“Hey,” Jack waved, bring one shoulder back up. Seeing Timothy put a smile on him momentarily until he started to search for the most comfortable seat around the circle, the kind of seat that’s not too stands out, for he just wanted to get away from his day and enjoy some fellowship time with some fellow Christians. But this proved to be too hard for him because there were too many empty seats around. No wonder Timothy was so happy.
“Am I late?” asked Jack and decided that sitting too far away from Tim would be even more uncomfortable, so he sat down next to him.
“Not at all, think they’re just late, it’s final time.”
“Yeah, I understand that perfectly,” Jack gave a big sign, “it’s been so tough with all the studies. I’m getting really burned out.”
“So how’re you doing? Haven’t seen you since you brought your friend to the evangelistic meeting we had a few months back. How’s your friend doing too?”
“I guess he’s fine, he’s started to ask more questions now,” Jack paused and recalled back, “especially right afterward we found that my car’s window was smashed. It was so weird because it was such a high moment my best friend would come and then that happened. My friend actually laughed and said that I was probably attacked for bringing him to church.”
Timothy wanted to comment but decided to hold it in and just smiled and let him continue to talk.
“And then it’s just so many little things, you know, kind of like non stop events happening one right after another. I’ve tried praying and reading the bible too, but for some reason it’s just seemed dry” Jack pushed his hair back and started to unload, when finished he paused and asked, “Have you ever felt that God seems far away?
Jack sat back up and saw that Timothy had also rested his elbows on the knees listening to him at his level. He had unexpectedly spilled his guts out to Timothy but he felt lighten up. He also realized that they were not alone anymore, two more familiar faces had joined them, and apparently they had quietly listened in as well. To Jack’s surprise, he was glad that they heard because he saw they shared the same late night study eye circles and messy hair as he does, and they were both smiling empathetically to his story.
Sensing a change of atmosphere, Timothy felt compel to say something, “These are tough months. If you don’t mind I like to share with you a Bible verse that’s been encouraging me when I feel down.”
He stood up and went to retrieve a Bible and opened it up to read out loud to everyone.
“This is what Moses said to the people and to Joshua when he was succeeding him. He said be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” He kept the Bible opened and said, “There’s spiritual warfare especially when you are serving God, so what your friend said was probably quite true, but it only proves that God is pleased with you.”
Jack stared, he hadn’t thought of that before.
Timothy continued, “And perhaps here is God’s perfect and good will for our fellowship to become so small, why don’t we have small devotions together and pray for each another’s burdens. If you want, I have some great praise and worship CDs you can borrow,” he began to get excited again and almost forced the CDs to Jack; “it always lifts me up.”
Jack let out a deep breath, and for some reason he suddenly felt God came near.
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