I had prayed the day before for 1) God to give me an opportunity to talk to someone about Jesus, 2) For The Lord to help me to be aware when Jesus sends someone across my path. (Enable me to see the opportunity), 3) Help me, empower me, embolden me so I wouldn’t be nervous— that I will not believe the lies that try to stop me, 4) make me sensitive to others around me.
Our painter, who I have known for 4 years, was painting the outside of our house. We were talking about work to be done and he mentioned dropping off a sample on Sunday. Then, he said that he remembered from last week that we would not be home on Sunday morning bc we would be at church. ([The painter] and I had had a very brief conversation just the weekend before about him wanting to work on Sunday and I had said that’s God’s day of rest. I told him he needed to test that day. He said it was fine, and he could go do some apartment work.)
I knew in that moment that this was the open door/ the opportunity that God was giving me to talk to [him]. So, I asked him if he went to church. We began a very long conversation about how he used to go with his wife, but now he has so much work to do he did not have time to go. He said it had been years. I asked what kind of church he attended and he told me he had gone to a Catholic church, but had gone one time to a community church years ago with someone. He talked about how he missed going and growing up his mother was very strict about going to mass (he grew up in Mexico). I asked him if he believed in Jesus and he said yes. Then, I asked him if he knew he was going to heaven. He got very quiet and then said he did not know. I began talking to [him] about how he could know for sure that he was going to be in heaven one day with Jesus. And how God wants us to surrender to him everything — our hopes, our dreams, our pain, our stress, etc. and we ended up talking for over an hour about his upbringing and how his father left when he was little. The incredible stress he was under and how he worried about his divorced son and 2 granddaughters. I could see the stress on his face and the burdens he was carrying as he put his hands on his head. I told him that Jesus did not want him to carry those burdens and how I have tried to carry burdens in my own life as well. I explained we are all human and we all sin and fall short and that’s why we need a savior who offers forgiveness of sins and can restore us. Told him in surrendering to Jesus Christ, we can give all those heavy burdens to Him. And, Christ will strengthen us through His power to get through hard things as we lean on Him and how we can find incredible freedom in living in Jesus. We can have an abundant life. And, once we accept Christ as our savior, (which is a gift from God that can’t be earned), we will live with Him in heaven eternally.
[He] then said he wanted to go back to church & take Sundays off. I explained to him that in my own personal life, I have never wasted a moment when I spent time reading my Bible, journaling in my prayer journal or simply setting aside quiet moments to just sit & rest in Jesus’s presence. When I set aside other things to be with Jesus & put Him first, that time always reaped multiple rewards in my life and gave me a great peace in my life.
In this conversation with [my painter], God made me aware of the pain in the world. That we all carry great burdens and you never know what’s truly the story with someone until you take the time to stop, be present and ask.
I invited [him] and his wife to church with our family this week. He told me that he was already committed to working at the apartments this weekend. But, he was going to stop working on Sundays after this week and go back to church. He seemed to have hope & like a burden was lifted. I then gave him several tracts I had in Spanish & English and gave a few trick or treat tracts for his granddaughters. He was very excited to give them to his granddaughters because he said they don’t go to church at all. Then, he added, I think I will start taking them with my wife to church.
I could see the wheels turning in [this man’s] head. The stress on his face from earlier seemed to melt away as if God was already filling him with a renewed spirit.
[He] speaks a mix of Spanish & English, but the Holy Spirit was definitely working in our conversation as he understood everything I said during that time.
I will be praying for [him] over the weeks and months ahead. I pray he will find peace in Christ and that he will give all his heavy burdens over to Jesus. I am also so thankful that I was able to put my busy agenda aside and do what The Lord was asking of me (which happened to be the most important thing in my day).