When my attempts to share my faith do not go well, I make a decision: I will not go out of my way to create opportunities, but I will simply glorify God in everything I do. God’s answer to my new focus astounds me.
Question: What opportunities have you had to share your faith? How did they come about?
“I’m tired of creating opportunities to share my faith,” I told God. “They always turn out super awkward. Am I trying too hard? I feel like I’m just responding to guilt-trips from the sermons I hear and from Christian resources. I do want to share about You—badly—because You’re totally worth it, but I make a mess of it. I’m burnt out. So I’m not going to actively try to witness unless You give me an opportunity. Until then, I’m just going to make You the center of my life.”
I was thirteen years old when I prayed this prayer, in phrases much more broken and incoherent. I stuffed down my guilt and turned to my Bible and fell on my knees and focused on making the Lord the delight of my heart. I made it my goal to walk like, talk like, and think like Christ in all circumstances.
Months later, I sat upon a school bus with my team mates, on my way to a high school soccer match in another town. I was bored. My team mates had returned to the inevitable subject: who liked who, who was going out with who, who had made out with who…and so on and so forth. I had nothing to contribute to the conversation. I’d never had a boyfriend. I never intended to have one, either.
“Can we switch the conversation?” I asked finally.
“This isn’t really my subject,” I offered, by way of explanation.
“Because I view relationships differently.”
“Like how?” The girls scooted in their seats closer to me. Awkwardly, I tried to explain that I had committed to develop a special relationship only when its purpose was directed toward marriage, not when it was only a temporary romance. Questions flew thick and fast.
“How will you know if you want to marry someone if you don’t date first?”
“You mean you’ve never even held hands with a guy?”
“Be honest: Haven’t you ever had a crush on someone?”
“Does this have to do with your religion?”
After that interesting episode, things changed. I was weird, intriguing, and perplexing. A few days later, on the next bus ride, one of the girls plopped down on the seat next to me. “So tell me more about this God thing.”
So I spent a long time explaining to her how knowing God influences and changes daily living.
From then on, all through my sports years, my teammates—guys and girls alike—grilled me. Sometimes it was tough. I didn’t have answers to a lot of their questions, and I had to return to my Bible again and again to find them. Other times it was fun. I saw God using my inadequate words to make an impression on my teammates.
Later, I realized that God had answered my prayer. I had given up on doing it on my own. I had simply loved God for Who He is—and He had opened up the doors.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.