Taking up too much of Jesus Christ’s time

Many years ago, I had something very unsettling happen. We were coming home from a speaking engagement, and we stopped off at a local Walmart to pick up an almost forgotten birthday gift. We hurried into the store, and I immediately felt someone’s eyes on me. It took me a few minutes to look around, and when I did, I recognized one of my old Bible students, a middle age woman, standing at the end of an aisle at the very back of the store. Our eyes didn’t meet, and I was not certain that it was her that was watching me.

She had been one of my toughest students. She wanted to know the things of God, but she wanted them to fit in her life, rather than changing her life to fit them, if you know what I mean. She was strong willed and authoritative. When we baptized her, her whole family came with her, and over the months, eight other family members received Christ. If Mom embraced Christ, then by God, the whole family would!

She had raised a good family, but she had her troubles. One night we received a call from her that one of her daughters-in-law had shot off her leg in search for an easy prescription for drugs. We hurried to her family’s side, and made feeble attempts to understand the dark sides of addiction and offer compassionate advice when asked how to deal with the terrible things resulting from the selfish act. Quite frankly, none of us could figure out the words to speak to help fix the terrible pain and shame.

We watched as this woman started to spiral downward, and it was like we couldn’t quite reach her. Now with the added responsibility of grandchildren to watch, as well as being the only person in the family that was strong enough to even try to deal with the one-legged, drug seeking, pathetic and attention seeking girl, she was growing tired. Soon the girl started sucking her mother-in-law down the dark road of evil things by placing herself in situations then demanding Mom to come rescue her.

Every week at her family Bible studies we would encourage her to back away from her problems, and to focus on her own walk with Jesus Christ. She was getting so caught up in the drama of darkness that she was losing sight of Him and starting to stumble in her faith. As her days grew darker, she grew darker, and eventually the Bible studies ceased, as she held tightly to the darkened lifestyle at the expense of her Christian walk.

It happens. Life is tough, and being a Christian doesn’t guarantee perfection; but then again, neither does it guarantee a faithful walk in tough times. As a teacher of the Word of God, I hoped that I had taught her enough to enable her to search for His Word and Will in her life when she finally realized her need to lean on Him.

It had been two years since I had seen her, and there she was at the end of the aisle in Walmart. My heart was still tender for her, in spite of the awkward remembrance of ridicule and rejection for the things of God that she had left in my path at our last meeting. I braced myself, and walked toward her. She ignored me.

Now I am lousy when it comes to social things. I didn’t know what to do. So, I said “Hi”.

She turned to me, and let out one of the loudest sobs I have ever heard. She grabbed me in a tight embrace, and wouldn’t let go. Her tears were streaming down her face, and she was truly moved to see me once again. Her emotions were over the top and public, and she quaked with excitement. For almost a half hour, she cried and cried and cried, and hung on to me as tightly as she could. I couldn’t move, and I could barely breathe, and it was impossible to move to a more private location. My family formed a protective barrier around us, as the woman’s tears kept on coming.

I was shaken. I had no idea that this woman would even remember me with any degree of fondness. I quickly searched my mind to the circumstances of her leaving, and wondered if I had neglected one of Christ’s sheep at the expense of my rigid requirements toward His walk. As she sobbed, I wondered that if my teachings meant something so powerful to her, that maybe I could encourage her return to His Walk, and finally reject the things of darkness.

Then she spoke…

She talked about the darkest of things, and her involvement with them. She was speaking the EXACT same words she spoke two years earlier, with her commitment to save the dark one before she focused on learning the things of God. She spoke of one tragedy after another, as the darkened world she chose to dwell started closing in around her.

It could have been two years ago, but the darkness in her soul was increased times ten. It was very apparent that she continued to hold on to the things of the wicked world, and reject the light of Jesus Christ, in both her words and her ways until time was perfect and in her control.

One more time, she told us that she had no time to focus on the Word of God, because the darkness of Satan needed tending. Oh, she wanted to feel our Christian love and peace to the point of public display, but to walk the narrow path of faith was ridiculous to her, and rejected once again, as she began to pummel me with her words of shocking depravity.

I turned away as I had done two years ago; but, this time with a confidence that was lacking the first. It’s not about me, and it’s not about my Christian love.

It’s about Christ.

If you cannot reject the darkness and embrace the light of Jesus Christ, then you are taking up too much of His time.

2 Timothy 3:1-7
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:1-7 av)