Friday, June 17, 2011
Seems like such a waste
10:22 p.m. Today's project was to host a spa party here at home, with facials, pedicures and chair massages from my therapist friend. The ladies tried several Mary Kay foot, body and facial products and then had their stress relieved wonderfully at $1 per minute of massage. During breaks between clients, I had two 5-minute sessions myself. Ahhhh...
It was a wonderful girls' day of pampering!
In between groups of clients, the therapist and I had a long break, so we began sharing our testimonies and life stories over our dinner (which she took my Jeep to pick up from Taco Bell, since any ladies coming in would expect to see me at the door) and relaxed over the snacks I'd prepared.
Our conversation went back to childhood, from the first times we were dropped off at Sunday School. She seemed to remember someone giving her a picture of Jesus when she was little, that she still has, but does not remember anyone telling her that she could ask Jesus into her heart. My mother, whose grandfather was a Presbyterian minister, would occasionally quote from the Bible, and my grandmother gave me a beautiful white leather Bible with my name on it in gold. I wish someone had marked John 3:16!
In Hampton, New Hampshire, our family attended the white clapboard church across the street from 1956-59. My sister and I sang a duet on Easter, but I don't recall as a 3rd grader being told how to be saved. At 8 years of age, I was old enough to understand, certainly. Later as a high school student, I would drive my sister and myself to a prominent Protestant church in Redlands where I sang in the choir and was a girls' youth group leader while my sister worked in the nursery each Sunday. But salvation was never offered, whether in the sanctuary or the classroom!
We see Jesus' attitude toward children in Luke 18:15-1:
Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to Him and said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."
Why weren't children like my friend and me led to the Lord? What decades of heartache would have been saved, not to mention the accountability of pastors and Sunday School teachers who do not take every opportunity to lead their flocks to Christ!
Perhaps the old adage is true--you can't give what you don't have yourself!
What we really concluded, having both been saved in our late twenties as single mothers, is that God's timing is perfect, even if His extended timing and patience with us is hard to understand. I sometimes wish that angels would fly over the towns where my loved ones live broadcasting a loud invitation to accept Christ! But wait-- in Revelation 8:13, at the sound of the 4th trumpet, there is
an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying in a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound.
By the merriment the unsaved exhibit when the Two Witnesses from God are killed (Revelation 11:10) it seems safe to assume that their hearts are hard, and their perdition certain, despite the physical torments and natural disasters God has sent on mankind!
Thinking back to my unsaved self, 31 years ago, childhood openness gone, my heart was hard. I had no intention of listening to the gospel message as a young adult even though I still went to a church of my denomination in Westwood as a UCLA student. No altar calls were offered there!
And my friend spent time in a legalistic church where the congregation ran around the sanctuary wildly yelling to the point that if an invitation were given, it couldn't have been heard!
It just wasn't the precise time for salvation for these two sinners, even though He had chosen us "before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4). God waited for us to be open to hear the gospel, to let the Good News soak in, and accept Christ as Savior of our own free will, the same as He does for everyone.
As we shared our testimonies, we realized that God wastes nothing, and that all of our experiences will be used for His glory!