A BfA staff member talks about her experience of sharing the gospel:
As I settled into my seat and observed the plane rapidly filling up, I knew I was in for an uncomfortable flight. My seatmate hadn’t arrived, so I still had some hope that I’d be left in peace to endure the next three hours. Just when it seemed I might end up with three seats to stretch out on, a young man slid into the adjacent seat. He told me his name was Justin, and he apologized in advance, saying that he talks nervously when he travels on planes.
He went on to tell me he was a former Marine with several overseas tours under his belt. I learned about his current living situation, what he studies in school, some of his family situation, and his views on life after the military. He also explained that he suffers from anxiety because of his experience overseas.
I listened to him at length, and then he paused and asked me what I was doing in California. I told him that I was on the staff at Bibles for America and told him what we do. I wrote the web address down so he could order a free Bible. He put the information in his wallet, but didn’t seem very interested. His feelings toward God had changed over the years. He had grown up observing Catholic tradition, and while at war he had sometimes cried out to God, but he wasn’t sure what to believe anymore. He told me that over the past few months he had been waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety and one thought running through his mind:
“What is the purpose of my life?”
This immediately brought “The Mystery of Human Life,” the first chapter of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1, to my mind. I told Justin that he is bothered in the night because God has a plan, and this plan involves man. I told him that he is more than just a body and a soul; he is a three-part vessel created in God’s image. And the deepest part of his being, his spirit, is seeking something. I also told him that just as a glove has only one purpose, to contain a hand, he also has only one purpose—to contain God.
Justin recalled several missions in Iraq and Afghanistan where he should have been injured, or even killed, but escaped without a mark. I told Justin that he does have a mark, and this mark was placed on him before the foundation of the earth was laid. I told him God had marked him out, and his feeling of unrest, always wondering about life, is because he was predestinated by God.
We continued talking in this way for a while. Eventually Justin got up to stretch his legs. When he came back to his seat he was full of excitement. He said that on his earlier flight a man had spoken to him about God, on this flight I had spoken to him about God, and while he was talking to the flight attendant in the back of the plane, the flight attendant shared the gospel with him. With an air of wonderment he told me he felt something was definitely going on, and he was beginning to connect the dots. The plane touched down at that moment, so I wasn’t able to continue the conversation. However, I feel certain that during our three-hour flight Justin began to understand the mystery of his human life. He may not have received the Lord at that moment, but he was becoming aware of God’s presence in his life.
Justin was not the only person affected by this flight. I also experienced God moving in me. I started the flight as an annoyed traveler, hoping to escape any conversation. But by the end of the flight, I was smiling and thanking God for placing Justin next to me. The mystery of our human life involves more than just an initial salvation. God wants to have a lifetime relationship with us that begins in our spirit. Through daily touches with God, He spreads into the rest of our being. The Lord definitely gained a little more ground in my heart during that flight.
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