I had a very interesting experience last night. I had been contacted by one of the nurses who cared for me during my cancer treatment requesting I join a Cancer Support Group. Honestly, I wasn’t interested. I have about 15 million plates spinning and I didn’t really feel like talking about cancer. It is still pretty raw. Ultimately, I knew Dr. Lininger and Margy would be there and I knew we would talk about Jesus, so since I contribute my healing to those individuals I thought I would probably enjoy this outing. As I headed down Peetz plateau (which is really a small downhill decline, but for locals it REALLY is a serious drop in elevation) I began to pray. “Lord, please make this worth my while. I don’t want to be away from the boys right now, so please make it incredibly valuable.”
I got in to Sterling and could not find the location of the meeting. I ended up being 20 minutes late, which has happened very few times in my life. I walked in a little panicky, but soon calmed down with a hug from Dr.Lininger and Margy. I gathered from the conversations going on that the question was posed regarding how our faith changed as a result of a cancer diagnosis. After listening to others share, I willing spoke of the value of Roy building a vast prayer army at the beginning of my journey. I also clearly stated my believe in Jesus Christ as my Mighty Healer. I had an assumption that everyone there were believers. I was incorrect.
Dr. Lininger shared from 2 Corinthians 4:16 – 5:1. These verses speak of our momentary troubles being for an eternal glory. Doc clearly stated his belief in Jesus Christ and shared the gospel during our time together. A woman spoke up and said that she believed there was a God and that if we are good enough we would go to heaven. I found myself with the wheels spinning in my head. I teach youth about Jesus all the time, but can I defend my faith in this moment with this woman? Lord, please give me the right verse to speak. As we were winding up, Dr. Lininger asked if there was anything anyone else wanted to share. “YES! There is a verse pressing firmly on my heart that I must share with this group tonight. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I know that this may be one of the most well know Bible verses for both believers and non-believers alike. There is a reason for that. It says it all in one complete statement. God is love. God gave us a gift in his Son, Jesus Christ. We must believe in Jesus. That faith will save us from the very real place of hell. Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior is the only way to have eternal life.” This woman quickly refuted, “I don’t believe in the Bible.” My blood began to boil and I quickly prayed again for the right (and kind) words. The best that came out of my mouth was, “Well… We are going to have to work on that.” She again opposed me, “I guess we can agree to disagree.” I finished with, “Until I change your mind.” I was bold. I have a slight problem with that personality characteristic. I also was not ashamed. If she left there last night and I had not spoken the truth I would have really struggled forgiving myself.
As I processed with Roy after I got home we were talking about how knowing the Bible is similar to being an athlete. You have to practice. In order to quote scripture, you have to practice. Just as an athlete practices to get better at their particular sport, so much Christians. We need to be in the Word, so were are prepared for our event. Life. We have a gift to share and plenty of opportunities to compete. Are you ready to defend your faith?