I haven’t talked to you in a long time, Randy. Actually, it’s been decades, but that’s not because I haven’t thought about you. In fact, I talk about you every time I tell the story about how God saved me, made me His child, and called me to preach His Word.
We were seventh-graders in southwestern Ohio. I was new to the school district, and you reached out to me. You were a Christian who attended church every Sunday, and you wanted me to know about the Jesus you loved.
You wanted me to know Him so much that you talked to me every day about Him. Sometimes, in fact, you were pushy . . . but I’m really glad you were.
When I tried to ignore you, you wouldn’t let me.
When I did stupid teenage stuff, you reminded me that God cares how I lived.
When I kept telling you I didn’t want to go to church with you, you kept inviting me anyway.
When I got stressed about a bad math test, you said you prayed for me.
When I ridiculed you if you didn’t always seem to be “godly” yourself, you apologized and tried harder.
When I made it through our entire seventh-grade year without following Jesus (and I thought I had it made), you still didn’t give up on me – or more specifically, on God.
You know that He saved me in August 1974, for we talked about it in eighth grade. We didn’t hang out much during high school, though, and I left our hometown during my college years. That was a long time ago.
Wherever you are today, I want you to know that I’m grateful for you. Because of your faithful witness to me, I’ve been really blessed in life. God has allowed me to serve great churches as their pastor and to influence phenomenal students as their professor. My incredible wife has walked with me as we’ve trained Christians around the world. I now can’t imagine life without Jesus and God’s people.
Yours is just one life, Randy, and mine is just one more. Because of your willingness to love me enough to tell me the gospel story, though, I hope many others have been blessed.
And, I'm praying you get to read this post and are blessed as well. Thank you, my friend.