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Guest blogger: Joe Barone

November 13, 2018 by Joe Barone 0 comments

Today’s article is written by Joe Barone. It is entitled “Capable Hands.”

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Do you have a friend, relative, or co-worker who you’ve shared the good news of the gospel with? Have you witnessed Christ’s love to them? Did they appear curious and welcoming of additional information? Then, after all your efforts, did their interest wane and did all seem for naught? Are you frustrated? Confused? Ready to give up? There is help, and it’s closer than you think. First, let me tell you my story about a little, lime green train engine.

There it was, in unbroken blister pack packaging, hanging from a metal hook on a plain white sheet of pegboard. I was at an indoor flea market, in Reykjavik, Iceland of all places. My first thought: my grandson would love this little green train engine. It’s got rechargeable battery power. Not only will it connect to his existing, unpowered wooden train cars, but the complete set will circle the figure eight track on its own for hours of fun. Price: Twelve dollars. One thousand three hundred and eighty five Icelandic Krona. What a find! I’ll take it!

Back at the seaport hotel, I couldn’t wait to examine my purchase a little closer. I carefully removed the engine from its secure wrapping and held it to eye level. Eight cherry red wheels with jet black treads contrasted well with the lime green body. And that’s not all! At the nose of the engine was a single, mini LED bulb that would light up and show the way, day or night. This is so awesome!

But my excitement was short lived. To my dismay, the accompanying AC charger, which I had totally ignored, was of European design. It would not function in our reduced voltage U.S. electrical outlets. Obstacle number one. But no worry. Easily fixable. Well, at least I had it up and running in Europe.

At the airport, while waiting for my flight home, I purchased a European to US conversion adapter for a mere fifteen dollars. One thousand seven hundred and thirty two Icelandic Krona. A small price to pay for a toy with so much potential. Wrong again. My first recharging attempt back home produced no results.

A trip to my local electronics store separated me from another twenty-five dollars. Result: the new, all-in-one charger/adaptor got me one full charge before the engine’s lithium battery decided to no longer take and store power. Let’s recap. After 6 weeks, $52 dollars, 4 hours of play time and loads of frustration. I was ready to call it quits. Such a beautiful engine. So much potential. So little reward. A flea market find had turned into an expensive failure.

I shared my exasperation, over what now seemed a worthless purchase, with my friend Larry.  “Do you want me to look at it for you?” he asked. “Sure,” I said. “You can have this nifty dead train engine, but I assure you the cause is hopeless.” A few days later, Larry brought me on another trip to the electronics store. Much to my dismay, it cost me an additional twelve dollars. Are you keeping track? Now I’m up to an investment of $64. But, in Larry’s capable hands, the little green train engine was given new life. No more chargers, plugs or adaptors, just one replaceable AA battery and its connectors securely installed where the old lithium unit was. I’m happy to report the little green train engine is performing flawlessly almost a year later. Fun times for my grandson. So glad I had the wherewithal to pass the engine along to someone who knew what he was doing.

Oh, remember that friend, relative, or co-worker you have put so much time and effort into sharing the good news of the Gospel? All to no avail, right? Don’t give up just yet. Despite your frustration and disappointment with your seemingly failed investment, hand over the unresponsive person to someone whose capable hands can remedy the situation. God knows just what that person needs for a new life in Him through His son, Jesus Christ.  In response to your surrendering the issue to Him, in prayer, what seemed hopeless may finally show life and become fruitful.

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