My mind wandered a bit and the once distinct words flowing from conversation about how to share our personal story and encounter with Jesus turned to a blend of pitches and my brain quit making them make sense. In the background of the fringe of Wilson Park, littered with walnuts, good for throwing at trees and one another (as my kids discovered), was a man at the back of his car, trunk popped open and digging through the random items that were so lucky to be saved. Some such items included a tire iron, hydraulic jack, and threaded rod jack (that’s what I call them now, because until now I’ve never had to express your standard car jack to anybody, let alone write about it). As he gathered his tools, I adjusted my focus a bit and could see the rear passenger tire was indeed plum out of air.
Interrupting the conversation at a slight pause, I announced, “I’m going to go across the street and help this guy change his tire.” Those words seemed to come out easily, but in my heart, I was nervous because I’ve been working on sharing my faith journey more and more with people and convinced that I needed to share my story with this gentleman while I helped with his car. “I’m coming with you” my friend Kyle added nonchalantly and together we were off to offer up our services.
“How’s it going?” I said as a standard greeting of mine, then added “need some help?” I was met with, “I think I’ve got it but I could use the company!” Well, that’s not a no I thought, so I sat down in the grass between the curb and the sidewalk, the stillness of a closed Flint Farmers Market to my back. We chatted a bit, the three of us while trying to break free the first lug nut of five. Nothing. The thing wouldn’t budge, so concerned that it would shear the lug clean off he loaded up his trunk as it was before Kyle and I had joined him. This is your chance Matt. Don’t waste the opportunity, especially in front of Kyle, who you are training to become a bolder witness! As awkwardly as a suspected it would be, I asked this gentleman if I could take a minute to share my story with him. He complied and here we go: it didn’t come out smooth or the way that I have practiced it these past several months, but the main point remained—Jesus has wrecked my life in such an amazing way! After a short talk about our experiences with God and a quick prayer together, Kyle suggested that we try the lug nuts one more time. With a hop in all of our steps we were injected with a bit of faith while we retrieved the tools and jack and gave it our best go… pop! Number one cracked loose and we gave a quick celebration at the faithfulness of God over such a simple little thing. Number two followed suit as did three, four, and five.
There is an entire world out there who are lost, hopeless, looking for answers in all sorts of different things: identity, politics, religion, community, drugs, relationships, the list goes on and on. The cure for our hurt is knowing the One who made us. He is the One who can relate to us best because He knows us better than we know ourselves. His name in the Old Testament of the Bible is YHVH, which is translated as Yahweh or Yah for short. His son’s name is Yeshua in Hebrew, Jesus in our Greek translation and they are one in the same. I know that sounds a bit strange, but he’s the God who made you and I, and loved us so much that He was willing to pay the price for sin in our stead—pretty crazy! This same Yah wants to use us to fulfill His plans to build His kingdom. His kingdom is people and we become family when we accept Jesus’ sacrifice for us on a Roman cross, a death that He did not earn or deserve, but as a substitute for us. This relationship with God is the way that we know what our lives are about, the big picture and learn how to serve our Creator. This brings a peace that surpasses our understanding and is the only way to not only find true fulfillment on this side of heaven, but secures our place in God’s heavenly kingdom after this lifetime is through. I am learning the passion of sharing this story, God’s story, with others and want to pass this urgent need on to every believer out there. Your guy with a flat is out there. Find him and be bold enough to share, even if it feels completely awkward and unnatural—listen to people, engage with people and share your story with them. You never know how God will use you to impact a life. Project Forty is about making disciple-makers. It’s God’s call upon our lives as Christians, so I pray that you will start to burn in your Spirit to share your story, just as God has placed that fire in me.