It has been seven years since I started visiting with James, now 95 years old, at the nursing home. Even though we have had Bible studies and he asks me to talk with him about specific verses that seem to confuse him, there has been no obvious desire on his part to show any growth. When his eye sight was better, he would read his Bible and even let me help him work through study guides. He has been interested in what certain verses mean, but has never seemed to grasp the eternal significance of them.
Sunday I once again went with the church’s group to the monthly afternoon service we held at the nursing home. James was on the phone when I went to his room to get him, so we came late into the service. He heard most of Charlie’s message and then Charlie began to pray.
I felt lead to ask him bluntly, “James, do you know for certain that Jesus is your Savior?
His response was, “I get confused whether I am or not.”
I asked him, “Would you like to settle it once and for all right now?”He nodded his head and said “Yes.” “Then tell Jesus that you know you are a sinner, and you want him to forgive your sins and be your Savior.” Right there, while Charlie was still praying, James prayed out loud to receive God’s gift of eternal life.
When the service was finished, my wife came over. I asked James to tell her what he just did. “I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my life “ She put her arm around him, gave him a hug, and said “Now we are going to be in heaven together for all eternity.” Charlie and others came over to him and each time I asked him to tell them what he just did. Every time he seemed a little more excited about sharing. And he smiled when they rejoiced over his decision.
So dear friends, let’s remember the Lord’s message to us in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Suppose I had said, “James doesn’t really seem to be interested in making the Scriptures a part of his life. You know, Emily, I have been witnessing to James for seven years, I’m very tired and even a little weak today. I think I will stay home. One day won’t matter.”
But it was God’s timing, and there was a harvest that I will be able to share in for all eternity. Praise the Lord. To encourage us all to share our faith, Daniel 12:3 is priceless, “Those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars for ever and ever.”