Saturday, November 24, 2012a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence...
I was a block or two away from Pastor Tim's house when my cellphone rang. I had just left the lab and all the instruments were running fine, but the call I was receiving was a text message from one of our mass spectrometer; it was telling me telling me that it was no longer fine:
"Problem Service Alert: LTQ Mass Spec/nanoAquity is CRITICAL."
I decided to proceed to Pastor Tim to figure out how to best deal with the problem at work, and still make our night of street evangelism. After prayer, I decided to run back to work, deal with whatever issue was messing with the mass spectrometer, then run back downtown to catch up with the good preacher. Needless to say, I was a bit annoyed at having to go back to work at 7:30pm.
The instrument was in real bad shape when I walked in the lab about 15 minutes later, so I went into NASCAR pit crew mode, and serviced that instrument with lightning speed and precision. I thank the Lord for helping me because I fixed the instrument problem in half the time it usually takes me, restarted the sample analysis runs that were scheduled to run over the weekend, and took off for downtown. It was roughly 8:30pm when I caught up to Pastor Tim, and the night of evangelism for me finally started.
There was a fair amount of people in the market, so the Gospel was ministered to a considerable number of people. Overall, the reception was rather cold, sadly, but as David so brilliantly put it: "Who knows what the Lord will do?"
A few Christians were around the marketplace. A beautiful woman drove by in a van near where I was holding a Bible sign and handing our Gospel tracts. She made it a point to stop, and bless me with kind words of encouragement before continuing on her journey. We also had a short visit with two young Christian acquaintances of Pastor Tim and I named Jonathan and Eli. A few years ago, these young men handed out Gospel literature on Friday nights, but they more of less fell off our radar the last few years. I hope the Lord will again use them as faithful evangelists.
Pastor Tim had a couple of conversations with sinners tonight, but all in all, they were mostly unprofitable. I didn't have any really. I did, however, notice that several times as I was preaching or handing out tracts, sinners would notice my Bible sign, and as they began to read, they would stumble in their walk. They would be so absorbed by the Scriptures, they lost their sense of direction. I couldn't help but remember the verse:
"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." (1 Peter: 2:7-8)
The Lord be merciful and gracious to those we ministered to, and may His great Name be maginified and glorified, now and forever.