(photo courtesy: google images)
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have...”- 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
While my wife and I were in the hospital welcoming our baby girl into the world we had some great experiences, besides the birth of course.
Throughout the two and a half day event we had several encounters with many different nurses and medical staff. We were able to meet different people and get a small glimpse into their lives. There was a nurse returning to work for the first time after giving birth to her child and we were in the same room she was in when her baby was born. We met a hearing specialist that was about to give birth to her 4th child and shared so much about her life with that many children. Our pediatrician talked about golf during each visit while I watched The Master’s. This was quite entertaining for Natasha – just kidding. Our midwife talked about wanting to write a book someday (which is right up my alley) and about her love for obstetrics (more of Natasha’s passion). It’s fun to meet different people and learn their stories.
A really neat experience was running into a nurse that was in the delivery room when our first child was born over 2 years ago. She said she remembered us and still had our picture up in her office. She seriously remembered everything about us, even job situations and future plans we had discussed at the time of Liam’s birth. She had just began or got back into her walk with Christ at that time and 2 years later she shared how she is going strong in a small group and bible studies. SO COOL!
There was an experience I was able to have on the very last day. I was actually waking up from sleeping on the most uncomfortable recliner when a lab tech came in to do a blood test on our daughter to be able to release us from the hospital. He came in with his little lab cart and told us he was here for a test. My first thought was, “Dude! It’s 6am! I still have morning breath!”
He was asking my wife questions and she was able to share about her medical experience. Then they started speaking medical stuff and I was looking at them with a blank stare, at that time, I got a glimpse of what it would be like if I was on Jeopardy.
Anyway, after Natasha left to go get ready for the day, he turned to me and asked the question I always receive when people find out she is in the medical field, “So, are you in the medical field too?”
Sometimes I get tempted to say, “No, but I spend a lot of time on WebMD”, but I know my humor gets lost sometimes. So, I told the truth and let him know I was a youth pastor. His response, “Oh, so you’re a priest?” I could only respond with “Well, a minister.” He smiled.
Then, the unexpected happened…
He asked, “Tell me, how do you handle demons of temptation?” Let me remind you, I just woke up and it was 6AM! He continued, “I pray, I go to church, and I try my hardest to get through it. If I think a bad thought about someone or get angry, I feel horrible.”
I pulled myself up out of the sinking recliner and wiped my face, for some reason I thought that would help me answer better, and I responded “We all struggle. There is no person who can handle all the temptation the world throws at them without struggle. Sin happens. However, it’s where you turn to handle the temptation. If you continue to let it control you, then you are missing Jesus. If you continue to beat yourself up over your “mess up”, then you are missing Jesus. Jesus came to lift that burden off of you. He knew you wouldn’t be perfect. He knew you would need His perfect sacrifice for your imperfection. Focus on Christ like you have been doing, allow Him to work and reveal His purpose in you, and don’t allow the enemy to make you feel inadequate. If you beat yourself up over your sin, then you undermine the authority of Christ on the cross and His role in conquering our death from sin on the cross.”
He looked at me; it seemed with tears in his eyes, and said, “Thank you”. The test was over and he left.
It was early. I was tired. I wanted out of the hospital so Natasha and I could begin the next chapter of our lives with two kids in our home. However, I needed to take that moment to answer the question of a man in need of an answer.
Just because I’m a pastor doesn’t mean I’m the only who should be able to answer his question. We should all be ready to reveal the message of hope found in the gospel.
Our schedules are busy and we might want to get somewhere because we are tired of sleeping in a pleather recliner, but we should always be ready for the opportunity to lead someone to everlasting peace in Jesus.
May we be aware of these opportunities and be open to the Spirit’s leading when it comes to giving an answer.
QUESTION: Have you ever had an opportunity to share the hope of Jesus with a random person?