From our Autumn Cottage kitchen...
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." ... Hebrews 10:31
One morning 18 years ago at Autumn Cottage while getting dressed in our bedroom to go shopping, this thought came: "No. Stay home, instead." There was just a tad of insistence about it.
Hmm. I started to argue,"But I need to buy _____", then stopped. I decided to put off shopping until the next morning.
An hour (or so) later, the kitchen phone rang and when I answered it, a woman from church spoke to me in a whispered voice. She was at work--and contemplating suicide.
God helped me talk her out of it. I hung up the phone then thought, "Oh! this is why I was supposed to stay home."
Probably a year later, Tom and I were visiting with a close friend of mine and her husband. As we drank our coffee, my friend criticized her husband a few times and the rest of us, I could tell, began feeling uncomfortable. I thought, "When ____ and I are alone, I need to tell her why dissing ones husband in public is a bad idea."
But then a thought came. "No. Wait awhile. Someday the timing will be better."
So a month passed, my friend and I chatted lots of times and I nearly forgot about the incident at her house. But then one morning while we visited in a coffee shop, she began listing her husband's negative traits and I heard, "Now," inside my head. "Speak to her now about her criticisms from a month ago."
And so I asked God to help me say things correctly and-- feeling like I was risking our friendship-- took the plunge. My friend received my words graciously, with much humility, even apologizing to me, but I told her that her husband needed the apology more than I did.
So that afternoon when my friend's husband arrived home from work, she sat upon their bedroom floor and apologized for all the years of criticism. And then? Her husband began to cry. He'd paid one month's rent on an apartment and had planned to leave her and their children the next day.
He changed his mind and all these years later, they're still happily together.
Some Christians believe their obedience--or disobedience--only affects themselves, not others, and that God will just get someone else to help somebody in need if they flake out.
Sometimes, yes. Many times, no ... and I feel gambling with our disobedience is never worth the risk.
"When I say to a wicked person, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.
But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself." ... Ezekiel 3:18, 19
These verses are one of the reasons I don't just write 'fluffy-headed' posts here in my blog. The responsibility is too great for that. My desire is to stay in tune with God so that my words will be timely, especially for anyone who's searching ... or sinking.