Like the suspense in the best thriller movie you’ve seen.
Like the unresolved tension that keeps you turning pages in your favorite book.
Like betting your last dollar on the “longshot” horse.
Only the stakes are higher.
I’m talking about ministry to Jehovah’s Witnesses. As I talked with my friend “Mark” the other day on the phone, I was vividly reminded of this. Reminded like a backhand slap to my face.
I enjoy talking with Jehovah’s Witnesses. I enjoy getting them to think about things in a way they never have before. I enjoy seeing the light bulb in their minds come on. Okay, to be completely honest, I enjoy stumping them. Yay me.
But, this is not a game we’re playing.
At stake are a number of things: Their eternal souls (which they don’t believe in, by the way). Their spiritual, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Their enjoyment of life. Their freedom from bondage. Their participation in the blessings of the New Covenant. Their relationship with God.
The stakes are high. It’s excruciating to me at times. Why doesn’t Mark get set free, like right now? Right now! This waiting, the baby steps. The steps back before forward progress. Ugh! I can hardly stand it.
Maybe that’s how God wants me to be. Could that be part of the burden for the salvation of lost souls? Am I experiencing for the first time the heaviness of that burden that’s probably an everyday thing for genuine evangelists? Something must drive those dedicated missionaries, and those passionate street-corner preachers, and those ministers to the homeless and addicts and others that I think of as “difficult to work with.”
The problem with this gospel-sharing stuff is that I get attached to those with whom I’m sharing. Like stray kittens and puppies, only more intense. My friend Mark. My relatives. Their friends. My neighbors. Grocery store workers. I’m tearing up even now writing about them.
This is not a game, folks.
Lord, please draw these people to yourself. Because the stakes are so high. You know, because it cost you the life of your only Son.