Robert J. Thomas was sent by the London Mission Society as a missionary to the Korean people in 1866. His wife died soon after their arrival in Shanghai, China. Having evangelized only a few months in Korea after learning the language, he was one day approaching the location of the present day capital of North Korea on the American ship General Sherman. Hostile soldiers then boarded the ship waving swords. When Thomas saw that he was going to be killed, he held out the Korean Bible to them saying, "Jesus, Jesus." He was immediately beheaded. Many would be tempted to say at that point that his years of preparation were wasted and his few months of ministry ineffectual. But they do not understand how God works.
Twenty five years after Thomas' death, someone discovered a little guest house in the area with some interesting wallpaper. The owner explained that he had used the pages of a strange book to paste on the walls to preserve the writing. Not only the owner but many of the guests would come in and stay to "read the walls." This was the Bible that Thomas had given to his murderers. Even though today that area is ruled by Communists, it has been confirmed tht over 100 families are secretly worshipping Christ. Only now, the Bible is no longer pasted on the walls but hidden inside their hearts.
We do not seem to understand that the only thing God makes us responsible for is faithfulness. He is responsible for success. Day after day He gives us brief opportunities to share His love and compassion. He doesn't require that the situation be ideal nor that our witness be well thought out or "properly performed." In fact, while we may wait for big opportunities to do our part, little opportunities slip through our fingers on a regular basis. All about us people are so tired of the lies and con games being practiced by everyone they meet. They long for something authentic and people who are genuine and sincere. What an opportunity for God's people to share the light He has set burning within us. Remember Paul's words: "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (I Corinthians 15:58).
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship