Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Light at the End of the Tunnel (01/23/14)
TITLE: Be Someone's Light at the End of the Tunnel
By Jim Newton
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When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NIV)
Occasionally, my friends and I, in our younger days, would fish the farm ponds north of our town in the evenings as relaxation. Afterward, we enjoyed stopping in at one of the country bars in the area for a couple of beers and a chat with the country folks. These were family places. One would hear the good and bad of family life shared openly. Their stories could be enthralling or amusing. However, anytime I heard distress in a person’s voice or it was displayed in their manner, they had my full attention. At this point, my Lord would transform me into a fisher of men. This is an improvement my faith has brought upon me.
One of those particular evenings, I sat talking to one of those distressed persons. He intimated his wife of several years had, without any warning signs (though I doubted that), left him for another man. This had ended in a heart crushing divorce. He was wholly devastated. His was a devastation that was quiet and very inward. That form can be more worrying, in my thinking, than the outward, brash form of devastation.
We talked about it for some time back and forth. Then I looked him in the eye, asking him if he believed in Christ. He told me yes, though he hadn’t attended church in years. I believed that, in his condition, he could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Life for him was over…figuratively and, possibly, literally.
At this moment, I told him, in no uncertain terms that he is not going to find relief or a new beginning in a bar. If the bar became his life, it would be depression on steroids. I stated what I knew; Jesus is sitting with us at this very moment listening to our every word, and waiting for you to turn toward him. Some overly stimulated Christians think Jesus would not be caught dead in a bar. This man needed to know, with absolute certainty, that Jesus was there, and the fact that in our Lord there is the light of life…in the bottle, only darkness.
As the conversation and the man turned toward Jesus’ light, he was truly affected. A short time later, we walked out together. I do not know the end of his story, but I do know the beginning. There is Jesus’ light at the end of the tunnel with that beginning. Jesus brought us together that evening, and the holy spirit was strong within that man as he left. I fear the best, with a smile.
As Christians, we need to be vigilant in watching over our brothers and sisters. Picking up on a nuance in a friend or a person we meet in passing, may save a soul as well as a life. We are not heroes when we do these things, but instruments for our Lord to carry out his will. We must keep in mind the difficulties of seeing light in a dark and overpowering period. You may stepping out of your comfort zone to be our Lord’s instrument, but you will be blessed for the effort.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
(2 Corinthians 9:12)
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