Often while we're waiting for someone we love to enter the Kingdom of God, we feel we just don't have the words to convey what we want to.
Well, I often feel that way, anyway. Do you? I might know that a person needs Jesus, but my mouth seems muzzled because their heart is not ready.
A time can come, however, when God opens a window of opportunity and gives us the perfect words to speak. When that happens it can be pretty amazing. Our job is to be ready and waiting.
A few years ago, God opened a window with someone close to me and gave me the exact words to speak. It was a WOW moment, so I'd like to tell you and I hope it encourages you.
I have a dear friend who I knew before I turned to Jesus. She and I are close, except we're 'unequally yoked'. Still, we stay with each other. She's a wonderful friend.
What happened was my friend lost her Mum, and when someone loses a loved one it can very quickly make them re-think eternity. Which it did do in this case.
My friend began talking to me about the question of whether there is more to this life than our time on earth. It was truly amazing to be able to talk about this with her, as we'd never done so before. But then, something more incredible happened: I woke one morning with a song in my head. It was a song from the 1970s. Along with that I seemed to get an image of a pastel-colored sweet from England where I grew up, called a 'refresher'. In the image, the sweet had a heart on it and the word Mum. It seemed God was saying, "I want you to refresh her heart, and give her this song."
"Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord." (Philemon 20, NKJV)
Now, that was easier said than done. She was still an unbeliever, so I was particularly keen to not sound weird. The song might have meant nothing to her, in which case it would all fall flat. Still, I mustered up the courage, texted her and said something like, "I think God wants to comfort you and has given me this song to give to you."
She wrote back: "You won't believe this but that was the song my Mum used to sing to me when I was little! I then sang it to my own children. It means the world, and I was having a particularly bad day today. Thank you!"
Then, sometime later ... "What are you?!"
That made me laugh.
I said, "A Christian." Which she knew anyway.
If I could go back and do that job even better I would have used the name of Jesus more clearly, to clearly glorify Him. I didn't want her to think this came from anywhere but him. Still, we're always learning and I'll know for next time.
That was a few years ago. Since then the window of opportunity to talk about God seems to have closed. But, the way I see it is that for someone like my friend it's one step to receive evidence that God is real. It's another step to discover that Jesus is the truth. Then, finally, it's a whole other step to bow one's knee to him.
In other words, it can be a process, not an instant change. And I stay ready and waiting for the next time a window opens.
The story above is unusual for me. I have a lot of unbelievers in my life and a willingness to listen for God's voice for them. I have not been given words like the above 'refresher word' for other unbelievers. Still, 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 says that a prophetic word given to an unbeliever can reveal the secrets of their heart and make them fall down on their face, worship God and report that God is truly among us. Our job, then, is to be ready for it. It will always require bravery, but we can ask God to help us refresh others' hearts, and then watch for those windows of opportunity.
If you'd like prayer for having the perfect words to speak to unbelievers in your life oh I'd so love to pray for you. Pop a comment in the comments if so.