Duncan: Who are you choosing who to serve?
Standing behind the cash register, my co-worker looked at me with burning eyes.
“Do you really believe there’s a man up in the sky who loves me?” he asked.
He was one of my favorites to work with. I was in my early 20s, and he was in one of the groups I usually ran around with after work.
It was a slow day. The light and easy conversation that drifted between us took a dark turn when I mentioned my faith.
“I believe in God,” I countered. I was somewhat shaky in my delivery, because confrontation of any kind was (and is) extremely difficult for me.
He laughed. It was an angry laugh, one laced with anger and pain that I never knew existed in my friend.
“God is stupid,” he said.
Honestly, I could barely stomach that sentence. I struggle to type it out now. He went on to say more that I won’t repeat, but it felt like knives straight to my chest.
I knew some things about his life. I understood he was angry and frustrated. I knew his doubts came from a very deep place. But there is doubting, and there is debating. This was different. It was blasphemy.
Ringing up a few customers here and there with shaking hands, I stayed silent. He went to do his floor work, and I continued doing the cigarette count.
Part of me thought the discussion was over, and I could just move on with a few jokes and never broach the subject again. Honestly, I’m usually all about the easy way out.
“Be careful,” he yelled from behind the mop. “Your God is probably mad you for touching all those smokes. You’ll go to Hell right along with me.”
Right there in that little Picadilly, a line had been drawn in the sand.
I could choose this friendship, or I could choose God.
“He’s not just my God,” I told him. “He’s yours too, whether you want Him to be or not and whether you accept it or not. One day, every knee will bow.”
He looked at me for a moment, then told me what I could go do with myself.
The rest of the night was awkward … but you know what I felt?
My heart soared that He gave me the strength to stand up for Him. At the same time, my heart ached knowing the anger this friend felt toward a God I knew loved him so.
I look around today and see a society in the same plight. People are angry at a God who loves them so much. People are thrashing against the same loving Hand that knitted them in the womb.
It hurts to see, but lines are being drawn in the sand.
Friends, we must choose who we will serve.
Truth is, you might lose friends. You might lose worldly gain. But your gain is standing with Jesus for eternity instead of popularity in a temporary world.
Sometimes you will watch God do the most miraculous things.
This friend and I never got on track, but I prayed for him. We continued hanging out with the same people, and I attempted to show him kindness at every turn — but he wanted nothing to do with me.
I received a friend request on Facebook about 10 years later. It was a husband/wife account, and I accepted it while immediately tensing up at the name.
Later, as I scrolled social media, I ran across a picture of my old friend with his son on his knee and a book on his lap.
“Bible time with Daddy.”
I praised God with tears running down my cheeks.
I realized something. When I chose God, I also chose my friend. When we choose His ways, we are choosing to be a light in a dark world.
I will never know what part I played in bringing him to the Lord. It might have been a tiny mustard seed or perhaps a conviction that weighed on his heart after our conversation. Really, it doesn’t matter.
God used it exactly how He intended to use it.
He daily asks me whether I will serve Him or the world. He reminds me every morning of the unseen war raging for our hearts our souls. I pray I continue choosing Him as life comes me 100 miles an hour.
Sometimes I face the obstacles with dignity and grace. Other times, I pray my way through with palms sweating and heart racing.
Either way, when is God is for you, who can be against you?
He doesn’t expect your guns to be blazing when you speak for Him. Sometimes it’s a whisper. Other times, it is the roar of a lion.
Sometimes you plant a mustard seed and never see it grow. Other times, you get to witness the glory of the harvest.
No matter what, you are used by God — every word and deed — as long as you are choosing Him daily.
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