Think about the most amazing, exciting thing that has ever happened to you. Got it in your head? Now … think about your conversations around the time it happened.
I bet you worked that exciting thing into every conversation you had! It may have been just a casual mention when talking to a colleague at work. Or a little more of the story out by the swings on a play date. And maybe spilling every heart-thumping detail over a cup of coffee with your best friend.
Who could blame you? I mean, it WAS amazing. Everyone needed to know, and you were prepared to tell them.
But what happens when people doubt you? When they reject what you are sharing and even your prompting to share it? Do you start to doubt it yourself? Do your hurt feelings cause you to pull away from the very people you feel called to serve?
Something like that happened to the women who went to the Jesus’ tomb after his crucifiction.
So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. Luke 24:9,11 (NLT)
Imagine how discouraged these women must have felt! The story seemed so impossible that Peter and the disciples didn’t believe it. Did they begin to wonder themselves if it was true or just a dream?
After all, it’s wasn’t just random people on the internet who rejected their good news. It was the very people they had worked and served alongside for months or even years. The people who should have trusted them.
But that’s not the end of the story.
However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened. Luke 24:12 (NLT)
Oh this passage gives me such hope!
Although he didn’t fully believe it yet, Peter was curious. Maybe it was the women’s excitement and joy, or maybe it was a deep longing in his heart for it to be true. Peter’s curiosity spurred him to check out the story for himself.
And even when he saw the evidence with his own eyes, Peter had to go home to ponder what he had seen.
Someone else’s response does not reflect on the value of your message. It doesn’t make it any less true or meaningful. Even though that person may be in desperate need of your truth, their reluctance to engage with you says more about their own barriers than yours.
And perhaps many of the people who hear our message do exactly what Peter did … get some space between themselves and what they heard to let it sink in. Your excitement and joy touched a deep need in their heart that they couldn’t quite comprehend at first. That’s when God lights the spark of hope we shared, gently tending it until it becomes a flame of faith. That is worthy work, my friend.
Sharing your story could be the first spark of curiosity for someone on their journey to Jesus. Are you willing to be the spark instead of the flame?