I wish I had Known Sooner

It was rodeo time in my hometown this weekend. The boys and I drove in for a quick visit and to see the brave cowboys ride wild bulls and horses and all the other rodeo festivities. Rodeo weekend always brings back wonderful memories. I loved seeing my sister’s and my kiddos sitting on the arena fence, just like her and I did over 30 years ago. I also enjoyed seeing familiar faces that I haven’t seen in years. 

This weekend, I ran into an old friend I grew up with. He was telling me how well his wife and himself were doing. He smiled as he talked about his church and his love for the people and pastor that he had. He was genuinely happy. Then he told me that he was not always a Christian and grew up in a different religion, but now is a born-again believer. For a moment he paused and then he said, “I wish I had known sooner.” 

These simple words keep playing again and again in my mind, and if not motivation, then I am feeling a portion of conviction about it. I have known this person practically my entire life and just recently He received Christ and has found the joy and freedom of walking with Him. Although, I know God stands at every person’s door and knocks and it is entirely up to that person to open that door and invite Him into their life, I do wish I had told this friend of mine sooner. It’s as if I have been carrying this special key to unlock the greatest gift ever given to man, and I keep it, often too many times, to myself. Why? Maybe because friends and people I’ve known for years don’t want to be told what to do, or maybe because they’ve known my good, bad, ordinary self, and suddenly I feel a discredit to tell them the truth. I don’t know why it is harder to tell friends and loved ones then a complete stranger, but I do know that even Jesus walking on the earth was not always welcomed by his hometown in the area of His ministry. 

 Mark 6:1-6

Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Ministering to ones you know can be difficult, but that does not mean we should not do it. The Holy Spirit will direct us and give us wisdom when it comes to the ones we know and love. Let us walk in faith that God’s desire is for ALL to know Him. 1 Timothy 2:4 (who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.) As those who love Jesus, our special key that we carry might come to better use if we get it out and share it. All we have to do is give them the key, and it is always up to them whether or not they choose to open the door to eternal life, peace and hope. As the words, I wish I had known sooner bring conviction to my soul, may they also to you as we go into the world being fishers of men and a light in the darkness. 

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. John 5:24-25

Published by Emily Rodewald

Emily is a writer and worship leader. She has written several worship songs, she is a co-author or two children's books and has begun writing about the light of Jesus in her blog at www.emilyrodewald.com. She is a co-founder of Parallel Ministries and a mom of two boys, George and Oliver. She has been married for 13 years to the man of her dreams, Daniel. She and her family live in beautiful Montana where they enjoy taking the boys fishing, going on adventures, and renovating their new home.

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