Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: In Spite of
By Anthony David
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Surprised, Arun sipped his tea and said, “Ben, you are so kind as to mention my name and give credit to me. That too in front of the boss. No one I know would have done that. What makes you different and special Ben?”
Ben smiled. He said, “I have faith in a person which is a way of life for me. My faith in God makes me different.” He was sipping tea calmly as he smiled.
“Well Ben”, began Arun, “You Christians do a lot of good service to humanity. But you claim that you alone know how to go to heaven. Isn’t this exclusivity unwarranted? All roads lead to Rome. So it must be that we also may reach heaven though by a different road.”
Ben offered a silent prayer for wisdom and grace and pt his cup down. He looked with concern at Arun and said, “My dear Arun, I respect the other traditions and religions deeply. But what I am talking about is not religion. It is a way of life. I share about a Person. The person of the Lord Jesus Christ who came down from heaven and died for our sins on the cross. He rose from the dead and conquered sin and death.”
“Do you mean to say,” interjected Arun, “that this Jesus is a historic person?”
“Yes indeed!” affirmed Ben. “He was born in Bethlehem town, lived for 33 years and served people. He was crucified outside Jerusalem city of Palestine.”
“This story is like one of our myths Ben” responded Arun, “How can you believe it is true? Perhaps you are bigoted. How can you believe an old old book, the Bible?”
Ben felt insulted. He remained quiet and prayed silently that the Holy Spirit God would soften the heart of his friend.
Back at home Ben related the day’s events to his wife Divya. She smiled and said, “Looks like you are getting into problems Ben. Look out and be careful!”
Ben looked at Divya and said, “I consider it a great privilege to suffer for the Lord’s sake. This is nothing when compared to what our Saviour bore for us.”
Ben’s mobile shrilled even as he was talking. It was Arun with some news. “Sorry Ben. It seems you are fired.” Whatever for Arun?” queried Ben frantically. “Well Ben, it seems he overheard our talk yesterday and then fired you. He is so fanatic about his faith as you well know.”
Ben felt as though the earth beneath him was shaking. But only for a moment. He breathed a silent prayer and asked God to help him. “It’s okay Arun,” he replied, “My God will supply my need. Perhaps I’ll get a better offer elsewhere.”
Divya was shocked. She sobbed, “What will happen to our family Ben? How can we manage?”
“Don’t worry dear,” replied Ben, “The Lord was our provider till today and He will continue to provide for us. I am overjoyed because God made us worthy to suffer for His Name’s sake! Let us rejoice dear, in spite of this!”
Days later, Arun called Ben. “How are you coping Ben?” “Am on a job search now but am sure that God will help us and bring us something better than before! I smile in spite of all this Arun, because my joy comes from my God, who will supply all me needs!” “Hats off to you Ben”, replied Arun, “I will consider your claims seriously from now on.”
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