Come Before Winter

Come Before Winter

“Do your best to get here before winter.”

—2 Timothy 4:21
Johan is young, tall, blond, and Dutch. I met him through my cousin, who attended the same Bible school in England that Johan attended. Gifted and handsome, Johan could have carved out a comfortable youth ministry in his native Netherlands—or most anywhere else in the world.

Comfort, however, isn’t one of Johan’s major goals. He chose to take the gospel to the Bedouins and nomads near Israel’s desolate Sinai Desert, a forgotten people in one of the most forgotten corners of the world. Johan has learned many life lessons from the people of the desert, including that it is considered worse than murder to know of a water source and to neglect to tell your fellow travelers. Johan points out that six hours without water in the desert during the summer, and you are dead.

How like Philippians 3, in which Paul weeps that the Christians know all about joy yet it doesn’t change their lives or cause them to share with others. They sit with their cups overflowing while others are thirsty.

You too know where the water source is. Thirsty men and women surround you right now: the neighbor down the street, the man at the service station, the boy who carries your groceries, the secretary who types and files, your distant aunt. If these people don’t know Christ, they’re going to die of thirst.

Paul told Timothy, “Do your best to get here before winter.” Do something today to satisfy others’ thirst for eternal water. Do it while the communication channels are open. This is the season to speak up; it would be a crime not to.

Teach me to act today, Lord, before storms set in and paths of communication are cut off from those who long to drink from your cup of joy. Help me so to treasure that which you have given me that I must share it with others.

About Joni and Friends is answering the call in the Gospel of Luke 14, "invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will...

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