I once read a children’s story called “What Will Little Bear Wear?” In this story, Little Bear sees the snow outside and thinks that he needs something warm to wear. So Mother bear makes him a hat. Little bear puts on the hat and goes out into the snow to play. It’s not long until Little Bear comes in again complaining that he is cold and needs something else to wear. This scenario is repeated a few times until Mother Bear has given him a hat, coat and a pair of snow pants. Before long he comes in again, still cold, and asks for something else to wear. This time Mother Bear asks him if he would like a fur coat. “Yes” he says, “I want a fur coat, too.” So Mother Bear removes the hat, coat and snow pants from Little Bear and shows him his fur. Delighted, Little Bear goes out once again to play and isn’t cold anymore.
The story resembles the way I previously thought about sharing the gospel. Just like Little Bear, I thought I needed something. I thought that I didn’t have anybody to share the gospel with. As a home-educated, non-working teenager, home is where I am most of the time. And who is there for me to share with when everyone I ever see (my family and those at Church and Bible Study) are believers? Lately, just like Little Bear, I have been realizing that I actually have had what I thought I needed, all along.
I once heard someone remarking how we often get to know a non-believer so well, that we almost forget that he or she is headed straight for hell. I have recently realized that where I thought there were no opportunities to share the gospel (my church), there are really an abundance of them. For instance, there are a large number of unbelieving children who attend with their believing parents. My tendency is to think that, because they are in a believing family, they will probably eventually come to faith in Christ without my intervention. What I have forgotten, however, is that God often uses those other than the family as instruments to bring those who grew up in a Christian home to faith in Him.
Neighbors are often overlooked and forgotten as well. I have a friend across the street from me that I used to play with often. As we have gotten older, however, we have stopped hanging out with each other, but we still talk occasionally when we happen to both be outside at the same time. I found out about a week ago that her parents were recently divorced. Hearing about that woke me up and reminded me of her spiritual condition. I recognize now that I have someone right across the street from me who desperately needs the Lord. And I may be the only light she can see. I know that I should invite her over and try to build a better relationship with her, even though she comes equipped with I-pod and constantly ringing cell-phone. God may use me in a mighty way. And she may be open to what I have to say at this trying time in her life.
Finally, there are ways to share the gospel with people you rarely or never see. My eyes were open to this possibility a few weeks ago when I was sitting in the car on the way to Bible Study. I was thinking of an old neighborhood friend who moved about a year ago. Something she said a long time ago, before I was a believer, came to mind. She said something like this: “Everyone knows that God is real. What I don’t understand is why people worship Him so much.” I decided to write her a letter, and this was a great start.
I hope that now you can see that there are never no opportunities for you to spread the gospel. You may just not realize where they are. Don’t ever get stuck thinking that maybe it’s not God’s will for you to share the gospel, because He isn’t giving you any opportunities. If you want opportunities for the gospel, you probably already have too many. Just look closely at your situation and you are bound to find plenty.