Is This Still Available?

 

We know a lot of people who listen to Kinship Christian Radio use Facebook because Facebook tells us how many of you see the things we post on Facebook.

 

So, I’m sure quite a few of you have experienced Facebook Marketplace, where you can put up for sale pretty much anything from a tube of lipstick to a slightly used intergalactic space ship. (Runs and drives. Some minor battle scars. $20,000,000 OBO.)

 

If you’ve got something for sale that someone (and by “someone” I mean anyone in the universe) wants, you will know very shortly because you will get a response. I sold a 1972 Schwinn Collegiate bicycle earlier this year in pretty short order. And, amazingly, people will negotiate a price based solely on your description and the pictures you post. So, when the buyer shows up, it’s pretty much an exchange of cash for merchandise with very little discussion usually ensuing.

 

That’s not to say the electronic part can’t be “interesting.” Shortly after I put the Schwinn up for sale, an individual offered me just slightly more than half my asking price of $95, which I politely declined. He then asked if I would take what he described as a “$400 leather jacket” in exchange for the bicycle. He explained that he had very little money and no means of transportation at all.

 

I had genuine empathy for the guy –which made it even easier to turn him down. That nearly 50 year-old Schwinn was a much better idea for a collector or the occasional nostalgia rider than for someone who intended to use it as daily transportation. And if that really was a $400 leather jacket, he would be a lot better off selling it for cash than trading it for a bicycle from the same era as Van Morrison.

 

One of the other things about Facebook marketplace is that when you go to inquire about an item up for sale, the default question it asks the seller is, “Is this still available?”

 

A few sellers apparently find this question annoying as their ads will include the admonition, “If it’s still posted, it’s still available.”

 

Oddly, people who use that phrase in their ads rarely have anything I’m looking to buy.

 

But the one thing that is truly odd about Facebook Marketplace is that when you put something up for sale, you will invariably get someone who asks, “Is this still available?” And you will reply, “Yes it is.”

 

And you will never hear from them again.

 

What? Did I somehow offend you by verifying I still have it? Did your wife/mother tell you “NO” after you asked about it? Why would you ask if its available and end the conversation after I answered in the affirmative? Why?

 

I’ve always wanted to reply a second time, twelve hours later, and say, “YES!! YES, I have the item! Would you care to ask a question about it or offer some kind explanation for your eerie, passive-aggressive silence?

 

But I never do.

 

And as I was pondering on this, it occurred to me a lot of us do this with Jesus.

 

“Hey Jesus, you know that “salvation of my soul” thing I heard about? Is that still available?”

 

And, of course, it is. Jesus is willing to accept you and save you anytime. The door is always open. No matter what you’ve done, no matter how bad or unforgivable you think you are, He will always take you in.

 

When I had fallen away, I often got myself into some kind of trouble, and in those moments of despair, I’d think about coming back to Jesus.  And I’d pray and ask Him to help me, and He would, and then when things got better I’d go back to my old ways.

 

And as I am writing this, the Holy Spirit is playing “There Was Jesus” by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton in the back of my mind:

 

When the life I built came crashing to the ground
When the friends I had were nowhere to be found
I couldn’t see it then but I can see it now
There was Jesus
In the waiting, in the searching
In the healing, in the hurting
Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces
Every minute, every moment
Where I’ve been or where I’m going
Even when I didn’t know it
Or couldn’t see it
There was Jesus
The thing is, I never did truly come back to Jesus until all the pieces were broken and it was obvious and inescapable that I would never, ever be able to put them back together again myself.
“Is that salvation thing still available, Jesus?”
“Yes, Dan, it’s always been available. I’ve been saving it for you.”
“Okay, well… I suppose this means it’s going to cost me. How much do you want, Jesus?”
“There is no cost. I already paid the price with my life. It’s a gift.”
Today’s Praise
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (ESV)
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