What if I FAIL

What if I Fail ?

by Sharon Beth Brani
Culpeper, Virginia

She wanted to share her faith with her neighbor. But she kept thinking,


Oh, Lord," I whispered, "what if she isn't ready?" But as I prayed and thought about the matter, I knew that I had to visit my elderly neighbor; I had to speak with her about her relationship with Christ.

But I was so scared. What if she resented my talking with her about such a personal matter? What if she became so angry that our friendship would be ended? What if she mocked me for my beliefs?

I often found it difficult just to start speaking with someone about eternal matters in a natural way. My hands would shake. My voice would quiver. Fear of failing, of turning someone away from God, chained me and kept me from freely talking with others about Jesus.

As I looked at my neighbor's white house, I trembled. I knew that she had attended church for years, but I didn't know if she knew Christ in a personal way.

There was just one way to find out. Reaching for a booklet that explains the plan of salvation, I threw on my jacket and walked out of the house. My knees shook as I went across the driveway and up the sidewalk. "Oh, Lord, what if I say the wrong thing?" I silently cried. But I sensed my loving Father assuring me that to say nothing would be failure. This dear elderly neighbor might not have another chance to hear the Gospel.

Clinging to the promise of God's presence, I knocked on her door. "Come in," I heard. So I turned the doorknob and pushed open the door.

My friend lay on a tiny cot covered by a simple gray sheet. As I stepped over to her side, I realized that she had lost a lot of weight since I had last seen her.

Glad to see you, Sharon," she said with her usual good spirits.

I reached for her wrinkled hand and held it tenderly in mine while we spoke for a few minutes. All the time I kept wondering how I could possibly ask her about her relationship with Christ. I sensed the Lord reassuring me: "You can't fail, Sharon. Tell her what you know to be true."

Taking a big breath, I plunged in to what was foremost on my mind: "Florine, we have known each other for many years, and often I have wondered if you know Christ in a personal way. If you were to die today, do you know where you would go?" As I said the words, a tear trickled down my cheek.

"Well, I've always gone to church," she said slowly. I waited as she seemed to be thinking deeply. "But I've never been sure about where I would go."

"Oh, Florine, you can know! You can know for sure!" I spoke with excitement. "Let me show you from this little booklet which I brought with me."

Reaching into my pocket, I took out the booklet. Page by page I slowly went over each step with Florine. When we came to the last page, she said that she wanted to accept Jesus as her personal Savior. Together we held hands and prayed.

Afterward, as I walked home, my spirit was rejoicing. And suddenly it hit me. I won't fail when it comes to telling people about Jesus! There may not be a positive response like the one I had just witnessed, but if I am gracious and considerate of others, they will listen to what I say. Maybe my words will be like seeds which will bear fruit in days to come.

Many people have never heard how they can have life eternal. Many have never understood that God loves them. Many aren't sure where they will go when they die. With confidence I can speak to them about my faith in Jesus Christ.

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