A gentleman once engaged me in conversation following a service. In the course of the prolonged and enjoyable dialogue he said, “From what you shared you seem to think that having faith in Christ can make some difference in our lives.” My response was, “Actually, I stated that having faith in Christ makes ALL the difference…for this life and the one that is yet to come.”
I quoted two verses that deal with time and eternity to support my point. The first was John 10:10 where Jesus explained, “I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.” The second passage was John 17:3 where Jesus prayed to God saying, “This is life eternal, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
The man responded, “Yes, but you get paid to say that sort of thing!” I wanted to say that I’d been saying those things before I became a clergyman, but instead I asked him if I could share a story. He complied and this is the story.
Decades ago, I rented a basement apartment from a lady. She was a believer in Christ, and we had some nice conversations around the topics of Christianity, faith and life in general. One Saturday afternoon she invited me up for coffee and dessert and said that she had a story she wanted to tell me. She said, “You might be able to use it someday.”
She related how her husband, without any warning, ran off with another woman abandoning her and their two young children. She was in a small rented house with less than five dollars in her purse and no family or friends nearby. Still in shock, she fed the children a meager supper and tucked them into bed. She knelt beside their sleeping forms, humbled herself before God, and asked Him to help her in this difficult situation.
In the course of the next week, two of her brothers who lived out of the country, just happened to call to see how she was doing. She related her dilemma and the brothers decided to purchase her a house with two revenue apartments in the basement. They set up an easy re-payment schedule over 25 years.
About 24 years later, I was renting one of those apartments. By that time she had put her children through university and been a friend and encourager to many of her tenants.
She concluded by saying that her faith in Christ made all the difference and that, “The question, is not, ‘Do I trust God?’ but ‘How dare I not trust God!’”
I am certain that no one paid her to say that!
Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.
— FAITH & REFLECTION