Charlie Benter

I waited patiently for the Lord;
and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay,
and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
Psalm 40:1-2

His name was Charlie Benter. That’s a name I’ll never forget. He was a customer of ours that we worked for on several occasions. He was from Michigan and he was your stereotypical northerner. I live in the holy land of the south with sweet tea and grits, so I was not used to that culture. He was a little rough around the edges, but a very nice man.

A coworker and I went to work at his house for a few days and, when we arrived, we discovered that he was in bad health. His wife had recently passed and he sat in a lonely living room watching tv from a recliner. He could barely walk.

Most of the work we had to do was outside and in the basement. We spent one particular day in the basement. As the day neared an end, we were working steadily and I kept hearing a faint tapping noise. I heard it several times, but I passed it off as nothing. We finished for the day and waked upstairs to tell Mr. Benter that we were done, but he was nowhere to be found. Then we heard him calling for help.

We followed his voice and found him laying helplessly in the bathroom floor. He had fallen and wasn’t able to pull himself back up. I felt terrible. That tapping I heard was Mr. Benter beating on the floor in a desperate attempt to get our attention. We asked if we needed to call an ambulance, but all he wanted was for us to help him to his recliner. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

My coworker was a big guy. 6’4″. 240. I work out at the gym regularly and think I have a respectable amount of strength. It took ever last ounce of strength we had to move him. He couldn’t walk at all, and we had to drag him to his recliner. After what seemed like an eternity, we finally lifted him into his chair. We were all sweating and exhausted. We asked if he needed anything and he said no. We left feeling totally traumatized.

Like most Christians, I have seen my walk with The Lord go up and down. There have been times that it seemed like God was walking by my side, and others where my prayers seemed to stay below the ceiling. This was a time that I felt very close to The Lord. As the days passed, I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to go see Mr. Benter. I felt like the situation we experienced would be a great way to witness to him.

I could tell him that we are all helpless and laying on the floor of life with no hope or strength to pick ourselves up. If we send for help, The Lord will come to our rescue, and lift us up out of the miry clay. I couldn’t hear the taps on the floor, but God hears the faintest cry. It would have been so easy to witness to him, but I never went. I am not proud of that fact.

The days went by and my boss told me that Mr. Benter was in the hospital. His was a wealthy man and my boss told me stories of a Mr. Benter handing out wads of cash to everyone at the hospital. Then he told me that he had died. That shook me to the core. I can only hope that God sent another willing vessel to give the gospel to Mr. Benter. If not, he is probably in hell and his blood is on my hands.

When the Holy Spirit whispers in our ear to share the gospel with someone, we should respond right away. That person could be a step from eternity. I’m not perfect and I don’t witness like I should, but I try and be a light to those around me. Whether it’s through telling someone the gospel, or giving out a tract, I try and obey The Lord. I still have a long way to go. Charlie Benter taught me that there may not be a second chance.

Perhaps you are reading this and you don’t know The Lord as Savior. He can and will save you if you pray and ask him to. We are all born helpless sinners laying bound for hell after death, but God can reach down and pull us up. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That’s all there is to it. Jesus paid for your sins when he died on Calvary. Ask Him to save you and He will.

We had great difficulty in helping Mr. Benter, but God is mighty to save. He can and will reach down in the miry clay and pit and lift you up to new life in Him.
Trust Him today.


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