I’ve just returned from a concentrated time of sharing God’s love with strangers through a mission trip. Our small team of six traveled to New Orleans to share God’s love and relieve a little of the stress the women are shouldering. We did this through offering a Spiritual Spa where we offered manicures, pedicures, shoulder massages and information of stress management.
While I painted fingernails, I had time to talk to the women about their livesand about their faith. Just as each woman was unique and special, so was herfaith. Some had faith in themselves, they were survivors, and others had deepfaith in God and a thorough knowledge of His Word.
I knew that giving them a couple of hours at the Spiritual Spa couldonly do so much in helping them with their hard lives of work and keeping upwith the demands of living—cooking, cleaning, shopping, dealing with contractors,fighting insurance companies, parenting and more. The lasting help I could offerwas to encourage their faith. We did this by conducting an inspirational bookdrive, and we gave each woman some kind of daily devotional book along with othergoodies before she left.
As I talked to the women I met about God’s love, there were several whowent away without any outward indication that they were at all interested ina personal faith in God through Jesus Christ. I didn’t feel like I hadfailed; in my bumbling way I had shared what I know of God’s love. I didn’tfeel like the Holy Spirit failed; I know that it is His will that everyone cometo the knowledge of the truth (2 Peter 3:9). I just felt very sad for the heartsthat didn’t respond to His love and had me questioning, Why would anyonereject God’s offer of salvation?
This offer is an unknown. People like to know everything about what they aregetting into before they attempt something new. You cannot possibly understandwhat a relationship with God is about without entering into one—it is amystery.
They distrust. Why would anyone turn down a free lunch, manicure, pedicure andmassage? I know there were some that received the invitation and simply forgotabout it because they were so caught up in the extra demands and burdens of livingas mentioned above. Others didn’t fully understand that they could havecome any day. But there were many who didn’t even consider the invitationbecause they did not want to go to a place where people they did not know weregoing to take them through a process they may or may not have experienced. Ithink this is the same reason that many reject God’s offer of salvation,they are waiting for the trick or afraid of being trapped.
Isaiah 26:10 summarizes this reality. Though grace is shown to the wicked,they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doingevil and regard not the majesty of the Lord.
All of this makes me extremely grateful that I have responded to God’slove and desperate to continue the job He has given every believer to be a representativeof his great love and share the message of salvation with anyone who will listen.Faith is truly a mystery!