Should Have Could Have Would Have

Should Have, Could Have, Would Have
by Sarah Bohn

James 4:17 NIV
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

James didn’t pull any punches when he wrote the above verse. It’s quite the biblical mic drop. I have read the Bible all the way through before, but as often happens, this verse struck me differently than it ever had before. My husband has been teaching this verse to our daughter and hearing their lesson convicted me.

Let me give a little background first. My husband is the director of Feed My Sheep, the food pantry here at CFB. One Saturday, in between helping folks, Mrs. Martha Sims (a regular volunteer) and I were talking about our call to share the gospel with everyone. She put it in such a simple matter of fact way: “If you knew the cure for cancer, you’d share it with people, wouldn’t you?”

That really struck me. I started thinking, “Who do I know who has cancer of their souls?” The Holy Spirit brought my grandmother, Maw-Maw, to my mind. Maw-Maw is my father’s mother, she’s fiercely loyal, has always been an attentive grandmother to me and she sends EVERYONE in her life a card for every occasion. But she’s had a very hard life. Some of the hardships she’s known have been beyond her control, but some were due to her own choices. She does not have Jesus in her heart. She’s sad, sick in her spirit, and I think I’ve just always viewed her as hopeless.

The “cancer” of her soul was inoperable in my mind, but that day at Feed My Sheep, the Holy Spirit said, “Sarah, don’t expect so little of Me. Even she can be saved.”

I was hit with the phrase “Should Have, Could Have, Would Have” and how much I would hate for it to be true in this instance. I knew that I should share the good news of Jesus with Maw-Maw even if she’d heard it before and rejected it. I could share it as I am able to communicate with her easily enough and I have a mature enough faith that I can correctly share the gospel with her. I didn’t want that last phrase to be true: Would have. I would have shared it with her but…I don’t want her or I to enter eternity and I miss the chance to share the love of Jesus with her.

I prayed about it and was convicted to write her a letter. I didn’t think a phone call would be effective because my Maw-Maw enjoys talking… a lot. I printed off a bunch of pictures of my children and our family and wrote little notes on the back to her. Then I wrote her a long letter to go with the pictures. I told her in the letter that Jesus loves her and died for her and if she wants to know more about Him, my dad or I would love to talk to her.

I would love to say that I mailed that letter that day in obedience. Family, I sat on mailing that letter for close to two months. I was chicken. I was scared that I was mistaken by my conviction to write it in the first place. Maybe it was just my emotions in the moment and not an actual call to action. I was scared she’d be angry at my dad, and I’d cause a fight between them.

But then here comes James with his mic drop. God smacked me in the face with James 4:17. I knew what was right and wasn’t doing it. I was sinning. It wasn’t my job to save Maw-Maw. It wasn’t my job to make her receive the good news. But it was my job to share the gospel with her. So I prayed over that letter again. I prayed that her heart would be softened, and I popped it into the mailbox. Temptation to back out presented itself for two more days. That letter sat in our mailbox for two days because our postwoman was on vacation (unbeknownst to me). I didn’t go get it. I waited until finally it went on its way and then I waited some more to hear from my dad.

Finally, I texted daddy and asked if he’d heard from Maw-Maw lately. His response was proof of God’s goodness. Maw-Maw called daddy, but she said that “Sarah sent me the nicest pictures and a letter about Jesus. It was so good.”

I should have, I could have, and I’m so very thankful I did.

God Bless.

--Sarah Bohn

Sarah is a CFB member, Women's Ministry team member, and regular contributor

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