Jill Jarrell Newsome
I will never forget, about ten years ago, God laid a friend of mine, Mr. Wilson, on my heart. Mr. Wilson was a faithful servant of God who went to church with me and I had known and loved most of my life. He and his wife had been in a small group with my parents for years. His wife had died a few years prior. I felt nudged to write him and tell him how much I loved and appreciated him. The problem was I had two friends visiting from out of town. We had a full beach weekend planned so I would do it Monday. On Monday I remembered but before I got it done I had a call that Mr. Wilson had a heart attack and died while raking his yard.
When I figured up, probably trying to make myself feel better, if I would have written the letter the day that God nudged me and mailed it, Mr. Wilson would have gotten it. I know he knew I loved him but how precious it would have been to tell him. When we let God use us as a blessing to others, we are always blessed. We are told in God’s Word that when we want to encourage others we will find an inexpressible joy in the process. 1 Peter 1:8, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…” I missed out on that inexpressible and glorious joy.
I know we are not promised tomorrow but I never thought this was my last chance to tell Mr. Wilson I loved him. I know he had gone on to be with his Lord and Savior and everything was wonderful. Revelation 21: 4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” I was the one regretting dismissing the nudge. I should have acted on what I believe was a nudge from God. I should have never put this nudge off because God’s never early, never late, but always on time. He gave me the perfect amount of time to get that letter to Mr. Wilson.
God calls us all to be servants. Our Savior spent a large portion of His earthly ministry in the presence of the sick--healing and comforting those who were experiencing hard times. Matthew 20: 28, “...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10: 45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus tells us when we demonstrate compassion to the hungry, thirsty, lonely and sick that we are doing it to Him. Everyone needs to be encouraged and appreciated and we have all been given that ability to bless others. I know Mr. Wilson would be glad that I learned a lesson from God on his behalf.
We are our brother’s keeper, not just our birth brothers. Genesis 4: 9, “‘Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’” Yes, we are! We are brothers and sisters in Christ, by the blood of Jesus. Galatians 6: 2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Maybe Mr. Wilson just needed some encouragement that day.
I call them nudges from God but some people may say, “God led me to do this” or “The Holy Spirit led me to do this.” Many times I have felt a nudge to pray for someone. James 5:16, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” A couple of times in my life I have learned that at that very time that person needed prayer. Once you witness how the Holy Spirit nudged you, you become more in tune to those nudges. Listen to those nudges so you do not miss out on “inexpressible and glorious joy”. Even when I have gotten the news of someone passing, to know I got to be a part of praying, for their last moments on earth, it brought me inexpressible and glorious joy!