When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13, NIV)
Yesterday I wrote how PJ’s Sunday message made me think and ask myself the question, “Who have I been a rescuer to? Who have I thrown the ‘rope of hope’ to recently?”
If you remember, the “rope of hope” is simply your story — your story of, for instance, how Jesus came into your life… or the difference He’s made in your life… or what He’s saved you from. Your story can be dramatic or plain. It can be as simple as, “I once was ______, but now I’m ______.” It doesn’t matter what form it takes, but we ALL have a story.
After writing my blog yesterday, I was reminded how my story was used in two different person’s lives.
As I was finishing yesterday’s post, a man walked into our real estate office who used to do various painting work for my boss and friend, Kevin Lacey. This man was a character, to put it mildly. We hired him in various functions over a 5-year stretch about 5-10 years ago. This guy was talented but undependable… mainly because he was stoned half the time. No joke. Drugs were a big part of his life and they normally got him into trouble.
Yesterday he walks into the office and you could tell he was different. First, he was older (it had been 10 years since I’d seen him. He was 57, he said.); Secondly, he was thinner. Drugs had taken a toll on his body; Thirdly — and most importantly — he was clean and sober. You could tell.
He told me of his journey over the past ten years or so. His trouble. His addictions. And how God had finally gotten ahold of him and changed his life. He was happy and healthy. He even had reconciled with his daughter after 15 years of not talking to her. He was a new creation!
And then he said something that took me aback. He said that whenever he and I were together (helping him put up a sign or whatever), I would talk about how God had made such a huge difference in my life. He said,
“One day, about four years ago, a lightbulb came on and I was reminded of what you said.”
But that wasn’t all. Later in the day, a friend who read yesterday’s blog said,
“You have been providing me rope for a couple of years. It has and always will be very appreciated.”
Wow. You never know the difference you’re making.
Actually, someday, it will all be VERY clear.