“Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts.” Hebrews 3:15
It was 4:00 a.m. and I was wide awake. We were in Houston, Texas for my son’s wedding, and our hotel room was filled with family, so I quietly got up and slipped down to the dining area in the hotel’s lobby.
Because of the hour, there was only one light on, so I got a cup of coffee and set up for my quiet time with the Lord in a place where I could read and write. A few minutes later the night manager, Lawrence, came over to talk. With very little prompting he told me he was trying for a new beginning. He was 35 and felt he had made some mistakes so he was buckling down – he was going back to school, working two jobs, and trying to make things right with his girlfriend.
“Lawrence, you’ll never really get a new beginning without Jesus,” I stated directly. This didn’t put him off, in fact, he pulled out the chair across from me and sat down. Lawrence believed in the Bible. He just didn’t know what it said or how to respond to God.
After I shared the plan of salvation, I asked him if he was ready to respond to God.
“I don’t think I’m ready. I’d have to clean my life up first,” was what he said.
“Do you wash up in the sink before taking a shower?” I asked him.
After thinking about this, he smiled and said, “No.” The whole point of salvation is that we can’t clean ourselves up, only our Savior can wash us, inside and out. But he still wasn’t sure he was ready.
“Lawrence, God woke me up at 4:00 a.m. just to talk with you, and you want a new beginning. When will you be more ready than you are right now?”
He assured me that this was what he needed and asked me to write down the prayer he could pray to accept Christ. I prayed for him, shook his hand, and then the lights went on because the woman who prepares the breakfast had arrived.
I don’t know if Lawrence went on to make a full response to Jesus but I know God was speaking to him. Whenever God speaks, we must make a decision – not making a decision is a “no” to God, and results in a hardening of our hearts.
When we respond quickly to God’s promptings we don’t only have the satisfaction of obeying Him, our hearts also become more tender to hear the next time He speaks.