One Hard and One Broken Heart

We are blessed by the conferences so far. We drove from Wilkes-Barre, PA, to Oneonta, NY, last night. God blessed the drive, but we were very tired when we arrived. These next two days will be the first opportunity to rest and catch up during the day because we don’t have to drive.

On the way here, we stopped for fuel, and I had a chance to speak with the 21-year-old young man who was the station attendant. I asked him if he knew where he was going to spend eternity, and he told me "hell." I asked him if that concerned him, and he said, "no."

I told him he couldn’t be serious because no one can tolerate that kind of pain. He said he could because pain is something you get used to.

I looked around for one of the lighters that they always sell at check-out counters and said, "That isn’t true. A person could not hold his finger over the lighter flame because of the pain, and that is nothing compared to the pain of hell."

In defiance, he grabbed a lighter, lit it, and put his finger over the flame for a second or maybe two. I admit I was a bit horrified inside as I watched this demonstration of such hardness. He then put the lighter back in its place and said, "See, I told you."

I pleaded with him, "Come on. Be honest. It hurt so badly that you had to quit." To my amazement, he insisted, "It didn’t hurt, but I didn’t want to make a mess on the counter." As he told me this, I noticed how he was pressing the side of his finger against the top of the counter with great pressure in an attempt to stop the pain.

I asked if he had ever read the Bible, and he said he had read it completely. It was time to go, and I asked would he be willing to pray and tell God that if God would reveal Himself to him, He would believe.

He told me he had done that, too, some time ago. He then demonstrated what he had done previously. He turned his face up toward the ceiling and in an angry, hateful voice shouted at God in a vile, cursing way. I shuddered to hear anyone "talk" that way to my God, the Savior of my soul, Who is the most Precious in all the world. To my amazement, he then confessed that within a minute or so of his response to God, the plaster on his ceiling fell in on him.

With a sad heart and pity, I concluded with, "But don’t you see the hardness of your heart and how God did reveal Himself to you? Don’t you have any fear of God?" After he said, "No way!" it was time to go and leave him to his end.

If God should prompt you, please pray for this young man that as his finger continues to hurt, he will think about hell and eternity. We would also be grateful for you prayers as we continue to speak to hearts.

One dad came up after the conference in Pittsburg and asked for suggestions on how to tell a seven-year-old son, who loved TV, that as of that night it was gone from their home. I shared when I had difficult things to share with my children I would repent before them and tell them how wrong I had been and asked them if they would forgive me. I also inquired about personal and family devotions. He then shared with a humble spirit, that from that night on, they would never have a problem having family devotions. Whewwww. That brother did so much to bless and encourage me that night.

These trips can be exhausting, but just one dad, with that kind of courage, fills and strengthens me. I praise God. Please pray for families to forsake the world and seek Jesus with their hearts and time.


7 thoughts on “One Hard and One Broken Heart”

  1. Hello Maxwells! We were so blessed by your ministry this past weekend in Wilkes-Barre! May the Lord continue to bless you as you serve Him and his flock in this way!
    Steve, you touched on something that really “hit home” with me… if we get our joy from the things money can buy, we’re limited by our wallets; but if we get our joy from serving Christ and others, it’s LIMITLESS!
    Teri, thank you so much for your encouragement to Tammy!
    Kids, you were all such a blessing to us, too! I’ve learned in all areas of life, that if you want to do something well, you find someone who is successful at whatever it is and you “do what they do”. Thank you for being good “family role models” as we ultimately strive to be more like our Lord Jesus Christ!
    We’re thinking of the possibility of hosting your seminar in the Lehigh Valley area some time. I hope our paths meet up again soon!
    In Christ’s love,
    Gene, Tammy, Olivia & Harrison 

  2. Incredible- about the young mans’ defiance towards God. But I believe that through your testimony, the Holy Spirit WILL soften his heart. God bless you for reaching out.

  3. It’s incredibly sad that at that young age his heart is already so harden that it seems like nothing can speak to him or change him. I’ll definitely be praying for that young man. I’ve never met someone who is so defiantly unconcerned about God, hell, and eternity. I’m also reminded of the verse…God can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think… God bless your ministry and the conferences to come.


  4. I was shocked as well by the story of the young man at the gas station. But then I got to thinking that maybe inside he wasn’t as hard as he let on. I pray that your “demonstration” with the lighter was a real wake up call. He will remember that the rest of his life, and I pray also he comes to Christ. What would he think if he knew how many people would now be praying for him? Maybe some day we’ll see him in heaven!

  5. I shared this entry with the rest of my family and we have been praying for this young man. We may never truly know how the things you shared with this young man will affect his life.

    We are also praying for your family to have a safe trip.

    God Bless,
    The Foldens

  6. Wow…what an amazing story. I pray that God will use his injured finger to remind him all week of his choices. It’s so hard to meet people like that…but God has saved his kind before! I praise God for your courage and strength in speaking with him. Will you be needing fuel from this establishment on your way home? I pray that you will. God bless you.


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