“Always be prepared” (I Peter 3:15)
It was a cold February evening, probably about 35 years ago now. The ground was covered with an inch or two of fresh snow. My visitation partner and I were making what we used to call “soul winning” visits. The church would give us a name and address of some individuals, and we would go visit their home to tell them about Christ. My partner, Norma, was about fifteen years older than me. She was petite, quiet and meek. Norma would be what we referred to as “the silent partner,” praying for the visit. I was the one who would share the gospel. On that particular February evening, Norma and I had just parked and exited the car on the street when a young man approached us. He said, “hello ladies” and then grabbed for both of our purses. I held on to mine. Norma lost her grip, giving the young man the opportunity to run off with hers. I ran to the door of the couple we were to visit and pounded as hard as I could. The man of the house answered the door, dressed only in his jeans – no shirt, socks, or shoes. I excitedly told him someone had just snatched my friend’s purse, but when I turned around to point to Norma, she was not there. At that moment I heard Norma scream. I reached into the door, grabbed the stunned man by his arm and told him to come with me, my friend must be being attacked. He ran down the porch with me (yes, he still did not have a shirt, socks, or shoes on). Just as we got to the end of his sidewalk, Norma came around the corner. My meek, reserved partner had taken off after the thief. She said she almost had him when she slipped and fell in the snow. Together the three of us headed back to the home of the bewildered, confused, and by now freezing man, to call the police (no cell phones in that day). But while we were waiting for the police to arrive, I had the opportunity to share the gospel with both the man and his wife. Happy to say that they both accepted Christ as their Savior, though I must confess that I always wondered if they were sincere about their decision, or if they were too afraid to say no to the crazy church ladies!
We need to be prepared to tell people about Christ. That is what Peter meant when he wrote in I Peter 3:15 – “Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you.” Even in a pandemic, God will give us opportunities to share the gospel message with others. It can happen when we talk to a neighbor or sitting across a table having a cup of coffee with someone. The opportunity could arise while checking out at the grocery, or at the doctor’s office. The favorable moment might even occur when we are talking to someone on the phone.
People are hurting right now, and many have little hope. They need to see something different in us that prompts a question or a comment about how we can be so positive during difficult times. And we need to be ready to tell them where our hope comes from, and who we place it in.
Always be ready to tell someone about Christ. We never know when God will open the door for us to share – no matter how crazy the circumstances might be.