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Temporary Relief

Temporary Relief

Exodus 8:15

But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

When I first met John, he was probably the heaviest drinker in all of Britain, he had beer bottles literally lining the walls and windows of his room, and within a week of being at the University in South Wales, he was taken to the hospital for overdosing. But over time, I saw the Spirit move in John, convict him of sin, soften his heart to the gospel, and I’ll never forget the night he stumbled up to me, drunk as a dog, looked my dead in the eye, and said, “Seth, I know the Bible is true—all of it—there’s just too much in my life right now I don’t want to give up.” Eventually, John came to church with me, started reading the Bible for himself, and he even recounted a particular night in his room when he was about to engage in a sinful habit, till the presence of God suddenly permeated the room and terrified him. But then something happened. All those months of genuine momentum seemed to evaporate overnight into even louder profanity, even greater drunkenness, and a distancing from me that hurt.

Eventually, I came back home to Cary and lost touch with many of my British friends. But after a few months of silence, John called me out of the blue. He was frantic. He was desperate. He said I was the only person he could trust, and then proceeded to tell me how he’d caught his fiancé cheating on him, and broken off the engagement, and was now considering ending his own life. I prayed with him over the phone, counselled him for a few days, and believed that his redemption was near. But not long after, the plague subsided, he found respite in a new girlfriend, and I haven’t heard from him since.

Friend, who are the Johns in your life today? I encourage you: follow Moses and Aaron’s example by being there when they call. Keep going to the Father on their behalf. Never stop pleading for their souls! God may soften their hearts before the end.