It's time for me to get off the bench and finally get this blog going. So I'm going to share an account with you that happened 4 years ago at Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs. This is the first experience for me with Search and Rescue. Remember, the good Shepherd leaves the 99 and goes off to find the sheep that has strayed. Since our good Shepherd is at the right hand of the Father, and we are His body, we are the ones who go.
I went out one rainy evening to do some witnessing in the park. I was eager to share the gospel with someone, and asked the Lord for direction.
There were very few people at the park that night, and as I looked around, I saw a man sitting on a bench. He looked very grundgy, unshaven, unkempt, like 20 years on the streets.
The Holy Spirit impressed on me to go and talk to this man. I thought there must have been a miscommunication. I was looking for someone more cultured I guess. So I looked around some more.
The same impression happened 2 more times. In the account of the book of Acts when the Lord is instructing Peter to go to Cornelius's house (a Gentile), the Lord tells Peter (in the amplified version) not to hesitate or discriminate.
So I went to the bench where this man was sitting, and sat down. I asked him how he was doing.
After a few minutes, I decided to try and share the gospel with him.
What I found out was that he had given his life to the Lord many years before, but around 20 years prior to this time, he made some bad decisions (sinned), and believed the Lord wanted nothing more to do with him. He spent the next 20 years trying to drown out the torment with alchohol. Tonight, he was done. He had decided that tonight he would "eat bricks," slang for suicide, jumping off of a building.
I talked to him for a couple of hours, reminding him of God's promises made to him at the moment he believed in Jesus as his Lord and Savior:
God would never leave him or forsake him.
God would be with him always, even to the end of the age.
God was the Author AND the finisher of his faith.
The good work God began in him, He would carry on to completion until the day of Christ.
And many more promises.
He asked me to pray with him. I expected to have to lead him in prayer, and was prepared to do so.
But he didn't need that. We got down on our knees (at his insistence) in the middle of the park,
and he cried out in tears and repentance to the Lord.
2 weeks later I was a place downtown and saw a man who looked vaguely familiar. I thought, "Could it be?" I walked up to this man and asked if he was the one I talked to 2 weeks ago.
It was him. Clean shaven. A hair cut. Clean clothes. A radiant face. He had re-dedicated his life to the Lord and after 20 years had quit drinking, on his own.
He left the streets.
1 year later I saw him again. He had a short (2 or 3 day) relapse. We talked and I encouraged him again with God's Word. I haven't seen him since. But I know I will see him again.
I went to the park to witness, but unknowingly had gone there to do Search and Rescue. God rescued our brother in Christ from total despair.
I didn't share this man's name, although God knows him, and I'll never forget his name.