This morning as I was reading my Bible, I realized that I missed an opportunity to minister to someone last week, because I was afraid.
Ellen had just gone into the operating room for a minor, outpatient surgery. While my mind told me everything would be fine – I was still feeling a little anxious. As I sat in the waiting room, a man came in who was visibly distraut.
Wanting to be comforting, I began to talk to him. His wife had just gotten out of a much more serious surgery, and he wasn’t sure what the results would be. It crossed my mind that I should offer to pray for he and his wife, but I held back.
In Matthew 10 Jesus sends out his disciples to continue his compassionate, Kingdom ministry. He instructs them, “Heal the sick, cast out demons . . . freely you have received, freely give.”
To help his disciples prepare for their responsibility, Jesus warns them, “I am sending you out as sheep among wolves.” In other words, you will experience opposition, and even be hated by some. He made it clear, if people treated me this way, surely they will also mistreat you. “So do not be afraid . . .”
As I reflected on these words, I realized that the Holy Spirit had been prompting me to share with the distraut husband, but I had held back because I was afraid. Afraid of what? That’s the crazy thing! I wasn’t afraid of physical harm or anything like that. I was just afraid of being rejected, and looking foolish.
Even writing those words, I can’t help but think of John Wimber’s story of seeing a man wearing a sign that read, “I’m a fool for Christ, who’s fool are you?”
Father, give me grace to be willing to look like a fool for Christ.”
Jesus encouraged his disciples with these words: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31
FATHER THANK YOU THAT I AM PRECIOUS TO YOU. FORGIVE ME FOR GIVING IN TO INSECURITY AND THE FEAR OF REJECTION. I WANT TO BE MORE BOLD TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT JESUS. I WANT TO MINISTER COMPASSIONATELY AND FREELY, IN THE NAME OF JESUS, TO THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE AROUND ME. AMEN.