“Quietly trust yourself to Christ your Lord and if anybody asks why you believe the way you do, be ready to tell him and do it in a gentle and respectful way.” I Peter 3:15
Ah! Peace and quiet! My husband was at work, my children were playing down the street with friends and the dinner dishes were done. Savoring the moment, I plopped down on the couch anticipating the pleasure of watching my favorite TV show. However rather than hearing the conversation on the broadcast, another one began to take place with God’s still small voice whispering in my ear. “What about the new neighbor across the street? Have you thought about getting acquainted? Tonight might be a good time to do it.”
I had thought of doing that, really I did, but argued, “They just moved in! Shouldn’t I give them time to get settled? I don’t want to seem rude, like barging in on them while they’re trying to unpack. Let’s give it a couple of days, Lord. Okay?”
Thinking I had appeased God’s prompting, I turned up the volume on the TV to catch up with the dialogue, but God’s voice seemed to increase in volume as well, continuing to nudge me. “Do it tonight and take your neighbor the book that touched your heart for me.”
Realizing I was fighting a losing battle, I turned off the TV and grabbed my copy of Billy Graham’s book, Peace with God. It was what God had used in my life to give me an understanding of my need for him through his Son, Jesus. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to share the book with my neighbor. I just didn’t know what she would think of me if I started talking about God before we even had a chance to get acquainted.
“Okay, I’m going,” I continued to argue, “but I’m not opening my mouth to give her the book until you give me something to say.”
Elaine opened her front door and invited me in with a smile. She seemed genuinely pleased I’d come to visit. Her small children had just been put to bed and her husband was on duty at the hospital. Nights alone in a strange city were especially hard for her, she was actually apprehensive. As we chatted, I found myself sharing how God had led us to the neighborhood and before I knew it, I was handing her the book and telling her about a Bible study that would begin the following week. Elaine politely thanked me for the information as we said our goodbyes.
A few days later, my doorbell rang. Elaine was standing on my porch with the book in hand. As she reached out to give it back, she said, “Thank you, Karen, for sharing this with me. I’ve invited Jesus into my heart and I can’t wait to learn more about him. Will you take me to the Bible study?” Turning to leave she smiled and said, “I’m sleeping so much better now knowing Jesus will never leave me.”
It wasn’t long after that Elaine discovered the Bible verse, “I will lie down in peace and sleep for though I am alone, O Lord, you will keep me safe.” Psalm 4:8
I may not have thought I was ready to share my new-found faith but it was obvious God was ready, knowing my neighbor’s heart was open to learning of his loving concern. I realized then that when I feel God’s nudge, he’s already opened the door.
Karen R. Kilby, an international speaker, is a certified personality trainer with CLASServices, Inc. providing Wired That Way workshops and seminars as well as a speaker and speaker/trainer for Stonecroft Ministries. Karen has over thirty personal experience stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and other Christian publications. She is the author of Becoming a Woman of Purpose, a Thirty-one Day Devotional, addressing relevant issues people struggle with and offering hope for a new outlook on life, shedding light on the need to look beyond the ordinary and encouraging readers to look for God’s involvement in the hum drum of everyday existence. (www.karenkilby.tateauthor.com) Karen was recognized as FamilyTime’s 2010 Woman of Achievement for the Arts and resides in Kingwood,Texas with her husband, David.