Are You Alive? by Zack Fugate
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk with him…”-2 Corinthians 2:6
Early in my marriage, right around the time that my wife welcomed our first daughter into the world, one of my dear friends came to me and expressed a desire to walk away from his faith. We talked one night for hours about his struggles and questions, and he informed me that he was going to leave the church, and ultimately, walk away from his relationship with Christ. After he left that evening, I remember sitting on my own in prayer and shedding tears because of the pain that I saw in his eyes. I feared for my dear brother, and I couldn’t believe what had actually transpired that evening. In spite of all of that emotion, there was a still small voice in my heart encouraging me to love and be patient.
Over the course of the next three years, my friend and I spent a lot of time together and he even spent some time living in our home. My wife and I faithfully pursued Christ and I made a point to engage in a conversation with him any time he asked. Over time, he began to ask really large questions and he would research and research to figure out the answer. Each time, I also weighed in with scripture and asked him if there was anything I could be praying for in his life. For a while he bristled at the request, but over time, the Lord began to weigh heavy on his heart. Each and every time he tried to find another answer, Jesus was faithful. When he was angry and pursued activities and thoughts that were opposite of Jesus, Jesus was faithful. The Lord continued to place people in his life that provided guidance, care, and ultimately, shared Christ.
One night there was a knock on my door and it was my dear friend. He asked if we could go and get some coffee and talk. Over coffee, he explained to me how grateful he was that I didn’t abandon him when he chose to walk away from his faith. He shared the number of times that he was certain that I would walk away and just forget about him, when the exact opposite would occur. As he shared this with me, my heart swelled because during this journey, that still small voice encouraging me to love my friend and to offer patience exemplified Jesus love and guidance. Walking closely with him over the course of those years impacted my brother in Christ, and he found himself renewed in his relationship with Christ like never before. We laughed and prayed together and rejoiced in what the Lord had done in both of our lives.
“…rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”-2 Corinthians 2:7
Brothers and sisters, make sure that you are taking the time to walk…hand in hand…with Jesus every chance you get. There is no greater thing we can do with our time.
Your Brother in Christ, Zack Fugate