So, this post has been tumbling around in my head for a while, and this is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit and write…
I recently was blessed to have the opportunity to lead a young man to Jesus. All because of a valentine. Seriously….
We were helping at the recent Community Unity meal, and Emma helped hand out left over valentine’s that the kids at the Sioux Center Christian School had made. One of these landed in the hands of a sweet boy who was 12 or so.
After nearly everyone was gone, he had the courage to ask if we had any more Valentines. My friend Jean promptly responded to his request. She found one that had a bible verse on it and opened it for him to see. In lieu of the long story, let’s just say that he was needing him some Jesus in his heart:-)
As we prayed the salvation prayer with him, I kept thinking… wow, little did those kids at that school know that their valentines would be the opening for this boy to ask Jesus into his heart.
You see, each of us is a valentine. We just make it seem complicated, when it’s really not about us at all. If we just listen and do whatever it is that God asks us to do with child like faith, he will use it for his glory. A simple act, a small act, something that seems somewhat insignificant to us, can be the thing that makes a huge impact on someone else.
I know I find myself thinking that I have to do “big” things. That I have seek out people and talk to them about Jesus and that I have to have the right words. This Valentine was a new awakening to me. It was as if God was saying… “Hey Jen, it’s nothing to do with you… I can use ANYTHING to get this person. You are just one small valentine that I created and am asking to help in the process.”
I may have had the opportunity to “say the prayer” with this young man, but that was such a small part of his journey to that point. I wish that I knew which child drew his Valentine and could call the school and say “please tell so and so that their valentine was the one that was convincing enough to soften this boys heart.” But that’s not how God works. It wasn’t anyone, it was everyone, and no one. God softened his heart, but he used several people along the way. The Healthy Families advocate that encouraged this family to come, the Zestos people that were their with food to send home with them, my friend Jean who talked one on one with him, his friends at school who had talked about God, the First CRC group that served him lovingly that night, the people in the prayer closet that prayed during the evening, etc., etc., etc. You see the list could go on and on and on. We never know how our walking in obedience to God will change the lives of those around us.
So, what’s going through my head repeatedly about this. Honestly, I keep thinking – it was jsut one valentine handed out by a 4 year old girl a month late. And yet… it made a difference in the heavenlies that night. Wow… I mean really, think about the angels rejoicing. Wow…
When we started Community Unity, in the back of my mind I always thought – wouldn’t it be great if someone would give their life to Christ here at some point, and how do we create an environment that would enable that to happen. 8 months later, what I thought was a far off dream became a reality. Funny thing is, I don’t think that we had anything to do with creating that environment. I think God orchestrated it so perfectly and others were just obedient in their role.
I’m asking that you join me in praying for this boy. Life is hard and unfair, and I so want him to just be able to feel and rejoice in the joy of Jesus. As he processes for a while, please join me in praying that he will experience God in a mighty way. That he wouldn’t doubt what happened but that he would rejoice in it, and feel “different” in a good kind of way. Pray that the troubles of his young world would not drawn him away from the Lord, but that they would pull him closer to God.
On another note, my birthday is on valentine’s day. I’m accustomed to valentines, and have always loved them. However, from now on, I don’t know that I’ll be able to look at a valentine and not pray and remember this dear child of Christ. What a sweet gift that the Lord gives me. That each year, I could remember and rejoice for just this one! Thank you God for your love!