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Paul wrote, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
The little girl wanted God, and she didn’t even know
it. She didn’t have a vocabulary that
included God. She had read books where a
god of some sort was included, but she had never applied the concept of God to
her own life before. She hadn’t excluded
Him; she had never conceived Him in her world before. But now that she heard three friends
describing their Sunday at church while at recess one fifth grade Monday, she
knew that she wanted to go. Something
inside her compelled her. “This is what
I need,” she thought. She asked her
three friends if she could go with them, still not knowing anything about the
church or about God. They replied a most
certainly yes, but they also had to ask their mothers. What a blessing that they did.
One of the mothers of those three girls picked up her
daughter and the one asking to go to church two days later on Wednesday. The girls thought a play day after school was
in store. True, but this one was
unique. The mother had rock-solid
Christian faith and a passion for God.
She also had an idea to help her daughter’s friend on her quest to know
God. Rather than drive home, she got on
the freeway and headed south. They
arrived at a Christian bookstore, and the mother explained that she was going
to get the seeking fifth grade girl her very first Bible.
The fifth grade girl had heard somewhere before of such a
book, but she didn’t know anything about it.
Her eyes lit up as she was told that she could pick out anyone she
liked. As she started to look at all the
Bibles on the shelves, suddenly she realized where she had seen one! In the hotels she stayed at before, she
usually found one in a drawer next to the bed!
The ones that she remembered had all been black. So, black must be the right color for a real
Bible. The only Bibles she had ever seen
had a hard case, so she started to refine her search. No, she didn’t want one geared towards kids,
because she had never seen one like that before and wasn’t sure that it was as
real as a Bible as the hard black ones.
You could also get Bibles with different names that were
comprised of letters. She didn’t know
what those stood for. KJV? ASB?
NIV? She didn’t mind what the
letters were so much as she cared about the hard black case. So when she found the Bible, she was
content. Her friend’s mother told her
that this NLT version would be perfect for her.
She flipped open the Bible and pointed out the table of contents. There were a lot of chapters or so it
seemed! The mother explained to start
reading the book of Mark. That would
tell the young girl about Jesus. She
didn’t know who Jesus was, but she was excited to find out. The mother explained to read a small bit
every single day. The fifth grade girl
intended on doing just that.
The next day on Thursday, the little girl opened her new
Bible and read through the first few chapters of Mark. She continued on reading daily. Soon, she read through all of those sections
that started with a man’s name, from Matthew to John. Then, while reading through those, she found
one hundred fifty poems in the middle of the Bible. They didn’t rhyme, but she didn’t mind. She started to write a few of the verses down
that she liked. She wrote down Psalm
56:3-4, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His Word), in God I
have put my trust; I will not fear. What
can flesh do to me?” She also started to
read some of the shorter sections toward the back. One of her favorite verses became Philippians
4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again
I will say, rejoice!” She wrote that one
down too. She wrote down her favorite
verses and slid them under the glass covering that sat upon her desk, so that
she could see them as she did homework.
She memorized those. She fell in
love with the Bible and church and Jesus.
That summer, she committed her life to Christ.
You never know how much God will use a simple choice to
invest in someone else’s faith. That
mother found out that her daughter’s friend wanted to go to church and
immediately took initiative to get her a Bible.
On one random Wednesday afternoon, she went to a Christian bookstore
that she frequently stopped by. But that
Wednesday afternoon was one of the most instrumental, profound, and
life-changing days in her daughter’s friend’s life. You never know what God will do when you
engage Him to point other people to Him.
That fifth grade girl has faith because that mom took initiative and touched
her life. That little girl’s life was
forever changed, and she is now a daughter of the God Most High. Why?
That mother took a chance on her.
God has placed people in your life that you can point toward
Jesus in a way that no one else can.
Maybe you are just the person He wants to raise up to touch the life of
someone around you. Someone you don’t
know yet. Someone you just met. As you seek God and ask Him how you can join
Him at work today, keep your eyes open for the hearts He is stirring. You may encourage them, lead them to the
Lord, pray for them, do something for them, give them a verse. They may need that to step forward in faith
and become the next pastor, counselor, Bible teacher, study leader, prayer
healer, or missionary. How do I know? Because I am that little girl. The Bible that she bought for me is the first Bible that I read cover to cover and has notes, highlights, and underlines marked on every single page. I bet my friend’s mother didn’t know that I
would someday be a missionary in Japan sharing Jesus with people who have never
heard His name before. She shared Jesus
with me. My life has never been the same
since. And I thank God for her almost
every single day.
Thank you, Jo Lyn, for taking a chance on me to share Jesus
Christ and to spur me into my relationship with God. I pray that I follow in your example and
continuously seek opportunities to touch lives for Jesus every day. I pray that each of you likewise see the
people in your lives whom you can reach out to and take initiative to do so
too. You never know what God will do
through you to touch someone for eternity.