God has His own timing and His own special way of calling each person to repentance.
For some people, a large event with powerful speakers and emotional music is what works. For others, a patient conversation with a trusted friend is the key to unlocking a heart. And for others, God uses pain as His attention getter.
C.S. Lewis said "God whispers to us in our pleasures, He speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
This story from Eastern Europe shows the power of the gospel to transform a soul in pain.
Summer had arrived and people milled about outside, enjoying the weather. Maksim took little notice of his surroundings as he left his house that afternoon. He had one thing on his mind: buying alcohol.
Maksim had heard all the arguments from friends and family—even "religious" reasons—about why he shouldn't drink. So far, the arguments fell short of convincing him he should change. Numbing his mind was all that mattered.
As Maksim walked down the street toward the liquor store, he heard music. A group of enthusiastic young men and women stood ahead on the sidewalk near the curb, playing guitars and singing songs. They also handed out flyers, inviting passersby to a showing of "JESUS."
Instead of avoiding them, Maksim confidently approached. "Time to enlighten these people," he thought.
After a short conversation, the group made a deal with Maksim: If he would attend the film showing, they would listen to Maksim's reasons for "why there is no God." So he agreed to attend the screening later that night.
When the movie ended, Maksim stood up and said he had changed his mind—he didn't want to debate them. No longer proud and boastful, he said his reasons for doubting God's existence were not valid.
Maksim then asked the men and women how he could personally encounter the Jesus he had just seen and heard in the film. His newfound friends led him in a prayer of repentance, and Maksim accepted Christ as his Savior. Now Maksim attends a local church and plans to be baptized.
A face-to-face encounter with Jesus showed Maksim his need for a Savior. The pain he was numbing with alcohol could finally be healed by the One who died to take on all our pain.
Who do you know in pain? Could Jesus be the answer they are looking for? Could you be the one to introduce them to Jesus? For some help, check out, "Jesus: Fact or Fiction?"