“Why Did This Happen?”

~By Julie Chatfield, Children’s Ministry Director
I am not naturally an evangelist.  I wrestle with this character trait because it seems contrary to our calling as Christians.  Part of my challenge comes from being overtly conscious of those sensitive to Christianity, which causes me to feel uncomfortable sharing Gods story.  Lately though, I have found myself in casual settings suddenly engaged in faith talks.  They usually begin normally with nothing at all indicating a discussion about God is soon to ensue. Then suddenly BOOM, an “I believe in God but why did this happen?…” type of comment surfaces. I am caught off guard and frankly never feel adequate in my response, fumbling somewhere between too cerebral or not convicting enough.  I walk away having a “palm slap to the forehead” moment realizing an evangelistic opportunity foiled.  This weakness of mine has me grappling a lot.  Why does it seem suddenly I am positioned for these faith conversations? And why do I feel so apprehensive about them?  
As my position to evangelize has increased, I have identified a few common traits.  First, God provides.  God provides the person, the topic, and the dialogue.  I don’t have to go fishing, all I have to do is remain aware, willing and available to the conversation.  Next, faith talks usually come unexpectedly but are fully recognizable because Gods name is implicitly stated.  I’m also relived a well crafted response is not necessary.  Instead, a listening ear, an open mind, and a praying heart frees the Holy Spirit to work.  It is the praying heart that keeps the cerebral responses at bay and the convicting responses to prove.  Oh, and sometimes I speak, other times not.  But that’s ok, God is in charge.  And because God is in charge, the explicit questions about God are so much easier.  When our human nature controls, evangelizing feels unnatural because we are sharing our story, not Gods.  God does what God does, so slow down and let go of any agenda.  When we allow God to lead the process, evangelizing will feel natural after all.
I thank God for safety from Hurricane Dorian.  But many were impacted by this catastrophic storm.  If you are able to help, please donate
1 Peter 3:15 Instead, regard Christ the Lord as holy in your hearts. Whenever anyone asks you to speak of your hope, be ready to defend it.