Hunter got the dreaded four year old shots not too long ago. Isaac, Hunter, and I walked into the doctor’s office and were immediately greeted by smiles. Seriously, the sweetest people work at our office. They even blew bubbles for the boys while I checked in, which Isaac thought was the best thing ever. The only paperwork required of me was initialing two documents. Win! We sat down, and in just a few minutes, Hunter was called back. Things were going well… so far.
We saw the doctor and then prepared for the shots. We waited, and waited. In the mean time, my boys decided that the very small room was their personal jungle gym. I think that they were literally swinging from the ceiling at one point. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the picture- two toddlers + a small room = chaos.
Finally, the nurse arrived with the shots. She was so sweet and apologetic and explained there had been a misunderstanding of when his shots were needed. At this point, honestly, I was a bit frazzled, but the Lord was sweet to give me the grace to give her grace, and it was at this point, that He began teaching me an oh-so-important lesson that I think that we all need to be reminded of.
Christians, we live in a very lost world. Even in the “Bible belt” we should not assume that every person that we come in contact with is a believer. In fact, it’s probably better to assume that they’re not. This means that the doctor that you see, the person on the opposite side of the grocery checkout, and the DMV employee are all people who could be lost, in need of the grace of Jesus Christ. Sweet friend, don’t miss this opportunity! An encounter with you could very well be the only time that a person encounters someone who loves Jesus. Be “Jesus with skin on” to those people. Even if these people mess up or aren’t super nice to you, show them Jesus! I know that it can be hard. After all, we’re in a hurry to move on to the next thing in our days, and we can get frustrated if something doesn’t go right, but remind yourself of a few Gospel Truths in these situations. Remind yourself that Jesus showed grace to those who hated Him, mocked Him, and were downright His enemy. Remind yourself that this was you at one point too, before you found the grace of Jesus. And remember, that you have been forgiven much and shown much grace, which means that we should be able to forgive others of much. May we give grace upon grace to others, as Jesus gives grace upon grace to us!
A verse that keeps coming to mind as I think on this topic is Acts 1:8. It says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (ESV). Our “Jerusalem” is the community that we live in. This means that we are called to be witnesses in doctors offices, at the grocery store, in our schools, in drive-thrus, etc. The thing is, we might not be on the “mission field”, as in we’ve been sent out by the IMB or being a “missionary” is our vocational calling, but we are ALL missionaries and we are ALL living in a mission field. Your mission field is your home and the places that you go each day. You are the missionary that the Lord has sent to your Jerusalem! We cannot take this calling lightly.
May we pray that the Lord would give us the eyes to see that nurse, that waitress, and that person driving too slow in front of us as He sees them! He died on the cross for those people, just like He did for you! May we begin to look at the mishaps in life as “moments for grace”. Can you imagine how the Lord would be glorified if you extended grace and kindness to the person who caused the mishap instead of what they’re probably expecting, rudeness and a bad attitude? After all, the grace that you show someone might be their first glimpse of grace, and who knows how the Lord might use that seed to one day lead that person to know of His amazing grace!
But I can’t leave here without making this clear, this blog is not to say “preach the Gospel, and use words if necessary”. The Gospel MUST be preached using words! Yes, our actions should most definitely be different than that of the world’s, but how will people know of the Good News if they have not heard? Be bold to not only show “moments of grace” with your actions, but with your words as well.
Friends, as you venture out into the world today, whether that be to work, or to the park, or on vacation, let your light shine before men so that they may know our good Father in heaven!