A Witness in the Devil’s Den

Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:9)

Although most bars stir my spirit in a negative way, I occasionally enter one for the food. I don’t know why they have such good cooks. Such was the case at a bar near our cabin, that and the fact that there are few places to eat out in the northern tier. I must admit I felt very uncomfortable the first time we went there to eat. I didn’t even enjoy my meal. Regardless, I agreed to go there several more times and found certain foods to my liking.

This spring Gene offered to take me there again. It was a slow night. The owner/waitress paused at our table for conversation. It led to Gene telling her about my cancer experience. She was most sympathetic as I added the events of the previous year. In 2016, I was treated for melanoma. Gene’s psa began to climb again, eight years after having his prostate removed. He had to have 38 radiation treatments, Our younger daughter had thyroid cancer and had to have the gland and all the lymph nodes on the right side of her neck removed and radiation three months later. My one sister had a benign tumor on her adrenal gland and had to have surgery. My other sister was also diagnosed with breast cancer, had a lumpectomy, and radiation. My mother fell, was placed in a nursing home in November and met Jesus January 5, 2017.

The waitress shook her head in dismay and said, “Some say God won’t give you more than you can bear. I never understood that. It seems to me He gave you and many other people I know more than you can handle.”

I may have read too much between the lines, but I heard a cry of despair and a desire to believe. She looked so puzzled and forlorn. Her heart obviously ached and struggled with why God expected people she cared about to bear up under great hardships.

I agreed with her and told her so. “God does give us more than we can handle. It’s His intent to bring us to a place where we have to give up on our own resources and strengths and fully rely on Him. That was what this journey through cancer wastelands taught Gene and me.”

The waitress smiled and nodded. Her eyes glistened. “That makes a lot of sense to me. I can believe that.”
She seemed to have had a great burden lifted from her shoulders at that moment. And so did I.

Jesus would eat there. He would share His message of repentance, love and grace with her. He wouldn’t judge me for going there either. In fact, I believe He sent Gene and me there that evening to have that conversation with His bewildered child. Too often we limit our area of witness because of self-righteous thinking.

I look forward to going to that establishment now, not because of the food, but because of the waitress and other people I may meet. Who knows. God may have another opportunity waiting for Gene and me to share His wonderful news of salvation.

How about you? What unlikely place have you found opportunity to witness?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

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2 thoughts on “A Witness in the Devil’s Den

  1. What a Spirit-filled story! I, like you, am uncomfortable eating in places which could be considered bars, as well as participating in parties, picnics, and other events where I feel drink or unrighteous activity takes place. I once attended a writers critique group at our local council for the arts, until someone shared something too worldly for me.

    I believe certain people are called to minister in such areas, and other people, like myself, may not be. It’s taken me a while to accept that. Two of our daughters have done cross-country missions work, as well as some in NYC. I would think, “What’s wrong with me that I don’t want to do that?” It’s the being called that makes the difference. And yes, with Faith’s wedding last Saturday, I made the decision to embrace this new life and try new things. IF God calls me, I feel ready to go on a missions trip, however, I’m also content using the Web as my mission field through writing. For now, I believe that is my calling.

    And to be honest, that is stretching me, it’s my “unlikely place.” I’ve always been afraid of the Web and all the sin rampant in its users. God alone is giving me the courage to get out there, to risk the possibilities and grasp the opportunities. May He bless you and me as we follow His lead … wherever and whenever that happens to be. Blessings, Brenda!

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