You may be wondering why I am posting again so soon, but it is because I have an exciting personal story to share with you! But before I share this story, I want to ask you a simple question… for some of you, this may be many years ago, but for others, it may be recent… how did you come to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How did God first start to reach out to you in your former life… in the midst of the darkness… how did you come to see the light? How did the unsearchable riches of Christ become revealed to you?
Paul shared these poignant words in Romans 10:14-15:
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
So that’s my question because my story starts with that question how that led me on an adventure that came to a beautiful conclusion. You see, a few years ago, I felt led to search up all those brothers and sisters in my life that had been a part of introducing me to Christ. Those that helped me to come to know Christ through sharing/witnessing/evangelizing/preaching… those that God used to witness to me about His incredible story. My story began than with quite a few different individuals including my real younger brother, a high school friend, a few brothers from UCSB AACF and a random co-worker.
For this story, I want to focus on that random co-worker because I was able to thank and even meet up with all those others in my past that had a part to play to my knowing Jesus. Yet my co-worker, I could not find after we parted ways about 10 years ago. I just remembered that this co-worker, a Westmont grad… started working with me… and started to ask me questions about my faith then (Buddhism), and hung out. We played baseball on the beach during lunch, ate together, chatted, and he simply asked me about my faith and shared a bit about his faith in Jesus. Such a small thing, but it was his courage to talk to me, to love me and befriend me… despite my ignorance … that started the ball rolling to my own searching for an answer. Nobody knows this, but his humble, simple witness was what started that insatiable curiosity for an answer that I could not find anywhere… was finally found at the feet of the cross of my murdered Savior, who died and rose again for my sake.
I won’t share his name via text, but you’ll see it in the picture that follows soon. A few reasons… first of all, I think it’s best to not just list it, but also because ultimately, it is God who is moving and working these incredible things; not man, but God alone that deserves the true credit.
But as I am writing, my co-worker after a few months moved away from Santa Barbara! Before he left, I am sure he left me his contact information, and I believe it was for medical school that he left. You see, his dream was to be a doctor and to serve others and help others. I remembered that, but like everything then, I lost the information or failed to keep in touch. As time passed… I came to know Christ, but our friendship/story was lost into the obscurity of history. Yet it was in the asking of the question of how did I… that I tried seeking out this co-worker. Google and Facebook were utilized, and though he did not have a facebook, Google showed that he was doing his residency in Fresno/Bakersfield! There was no contact information so I set this aside and continued to pursue other things, and once again it was lost into the fog of history.
Well fast forward to Nov. 2012, and now, I am a Pastor in Santa Barbara serving at CEFCSB. One of the members of our church family, an elderly sister in Christ was in the hospital with a foot infection, and I went to visit her there. During my hospital visit, I wanted to save up her contact phone number so I took a picture of the white board that is in every patient’s room at the hospital. This was what I saw:
The physician’s last name matched my random co-worker’s! I thought … this couldn’t be the same person could it be? But it was such a unique last name, I figured I’d ask the nurse. She mentioned that he was a doctor that just moved here, and so when I went to the website to look it up, it was him!!!! I was so ecstatic, and left him a message with my number to call me so we can catch up. Though he has yet to respond (only been a few days), I heard that he rejoiced to hear about me, and I hope that we’ll get time to sit down and talk and to fellowship once again.
Isn’t that wonderful? Isn’t that praise worthy? Consider the words of Paul in Romans 10, how are people to call on Jesus for whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? How are they to hear without someone preaching? How are they to preach unless they’ve been sent? How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!
You see, my doctor/co-worker’s friendship and willingness to talk about Jesus with me seemed so unspectacular at first glance. Very little impact and very little power, and yet God used this to save me… to change my heart… and now, I have been called to a place of serving others as well. Paul writing to us in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, wrote these words as a reminder:
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
So as I leave you today, I want to give you an encouragement… How did you come to know and hear the good news of Jesus Christ? Perhaps you are the random co-worker in another’s life! My prayer is that you may be the random co-worker in many other people’s lives as well! For truly, how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!