A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened, a man came in and walked down the aisle. The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn't shaved in a while. His shirt was kind of shabby and his coat was worn and frayed.
The man knelt, he bowed his head, then he rose and walked away. In the days that followed, each noon time came in came this chap. Each time he knelt for just a moment, with a lunch pail in his lap.
Well, the ministers suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear. He decided to stop the man and ask him, "What are you doing here everyday?" The old man replied, "I work down the road and my lunch is half an hour."
Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding strength and power for the day. "I only stay a few moments because the factory is so far away. As I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kind of what I say: I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FREIND-SHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SINS. SO JESUS, THIS IS JIM CHECKING IN TODAY."
The minister feeling a bit ashamed and a little foolish, let Jim know, "That's fine, sir. You are welcome to come and pray anytime." Jim replied, "Thanks, pastor but now I have to go" and he hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the alter -- like he'd never done before. His cold heart melted, warmed with love as he met Jesus right then and there. As the tears flowed and his heart softened he prayed, "I JUST CAME TO AGAIN TO TELL YOU LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK MY SINS AWAY. SO JESUS, THIS IS JUST ME CHECKING IN TODAY."
Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn't come. As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry some. At the factory, he asked about him and learned Jim was ill.
The minister decided to go to the hospital and visit old Jim. The hospital staff worried a bit, but old Jim had given them a thrill. The week that Jim was with them, brought changes to the ward. His smiles, a joy so contagious filled the rooms and the hallways, people's lives began to change when they worked with Jim.
The head nurse couldn't understand why old Jim was so glad. He had never received a card -- there were no flowers -- and not even one visitor.
The minister went to Jims bedside and began to question old Jim about the head nurse's concern. With no friends to show they cared -- old Jim had no one in this whole world to love him or tend to his needs.
Looking very surprised, Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile said, "The nurse is wrong, she couldn't know -- that in here all the while, everyday at noon He's here, a very dear friend of mine. You see, he sits right down, takes my hand, leans over me and says:
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN SINCE YOU FOUND ME AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN. I ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY, I THINK OF YOU EVERY DAY AND SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS AND I'M CHECKING IN ON YOU TODAY."
- Author Unknown
There are times in all our lives, when we are lonely. If you don't believe that -- ask around and you will find that most of your friends will tell you, they have felt lonely at one time or another. Even the ones that won't admit it have been or will be lonely at some point in their lives.
The Bible tells us we have a friend that sticks closer to us then a brother or sister, and He wants to be totally involved in our daily lives. Jesus knows and He does understand our loneliness -- remember when He was on the cross and He cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" See: Mark 15:34
God wants to be involved in your life and as your relationship with Him becomes stronger and more intimate -- you will feel less loneliness. I know first hand the loneliness that can overwhelm us at times. However, I refuse to just stay lonely!!
When I am feeling a little lonely, I go to my Bible or I put on Christian radio (BBN is one of my favorites) or I listen to some Godly music (I love the Gaither's Homecomings) As I draw near to Jesus -- He is always right there to meet me.
It is a good thing to check in on your friends from time to time. Check in to see if they have a need or if they require a little attention and encouragement. Maybe they just need to know someone cares about them.
Still, above all remember: Friends will come and go in our lives -- but there is a friend that will never leave us or abandon us -- and His name is JESUS!! So, be sure to always check in with Him -- because Jesus is checking in on YOU!