This past weekend I was fortunate to lead a breakout session for Focus Weekend 2014 in Tulsa. One of my favorite things to do is to stand in front of a group of people and talk about Jesus. It is something that I feel like I am pretty good at and is something that I take very seriously. I’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that if you are given the opportunity to share with a group of people, then that is an opportunity to connect people to the gospel. Anything else is a complete and utter waste of time. It is because of this that I view these times as a sacred opportunity to be taken full advantage of.
Although the breakout sessions were a lot of fun, what I will remember from this week is a conversation that I had with an individual in between a couple of the breakouts. This gentlemen was around my age and had served our country in the armed forces. He had told me that he recognized my name through some of my published writings. One in particular though is worth mentioning and the center of our conversation.
Almost three years ago, I wrote an article that was published by the Baptist Messenger expressing some of my thoughts about the military action and subsequent response to Osama Bin Laden being killed. It is a memorable article for me because it was the first piece that I wrote in which its reach was far beyond my normal readership both on my personal blog and through the posted article on the Messenger. Furthermore, it is a piece that I was especially proud of and had a number of people reach out to me and say that I did an outstanding job.
This gentlemen recognized my name and made the connection that I was the author of this piece. After a one of the breakouts, he pulled me aside and told me that the article that I had written almost three years ago had touched his life in a profound way. God moved in his life through this article to address issues with bitterness and forgiveness. To say that I was amazed would be an understatement. I started to get goose bumps as he continued with his story and on how this article impacted his life.
God uses us in ways that are simply beyond our vision and beyond our comprehension. For me, what I wrote three years ago and had picked up by the Baptist Messenger touched this guy’s life, and I had no idea who he was. Because I was faithful to God’s prompting, He was faithful to bless that. As a writer and someone who travels and speaks, I don’t always get to see the fruits of my labor. The truth though is that witnessing the net effect of God’s movement is not a prerequisite for my faithfulness to His prompting. He moves and utilizes me in a way that results in His glory and not for my own.
The challenge for both me and for everyone is to be content in the fact that He will use our talents as He sees fit and for His glory, and that the impact that we have on people’s lives is sometimes beyond our own vision.