Everyday I hear reports of God sightings in some of the most unlikely places. In fact, I think HE enjoys interrupting our lives with adrenaline pumping, shocks to our systems. Whatever you call them, they stun us, alter our perceptions, and if we let them, anchor our faith. They are the fingerprints of God forcing faith into action when we least expect it.
It seems to me that HE pays special attention to the transition times, when we are moving from one stage of life, one place in life, to another. In these moments, we are in the middle, somewhere between the past and the future.
During these times, it’s easy to practice our independence and forget the invisible God. When we do, HE takes great pleasure in sending us reminders. They come special delivery with WOW potential.
Remember, the Christian life is more than words, more than religious beliefs, and more than following all the rules. Just knowing Jesus’ name doesn’t mean you know HIM, or that you have spent any time hanging-out with HIM.
God sent Jesus to convince us that HE will do whatever is necessary to step in when we are lost, or weak, or empty, or even when we are making really bad choices. In other words, sometimes that traffic accident, or that near-death experience is a wake-up call.
Jesus talked about the dangers of knowing all the right words without living like you know the one who spoke them. One thing you can count on, there will be interruptions, and problems, and surprises. How else could we live life to the full.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27 NIV
That rock? In context, it’s knowing Jesus! (Read a few paragraphs before the wise man story.) Trusting HIM, looking for HIM in the unexpected storms, the overwhelming floods, the unpredicted hurricanes, and in scattered everyday storms.
It was a hot August night and I-40 stretched into the empty darkness between Kingman and Flagstaff. For long periods of time, my headlights provided the only lights I could see. But, speeding along at 80-85 mph, I was more than pleased with the freedom of being on my own. With windows down, border-blaster XEG radio announcing my presence into the next county, and a thermos full of coffee with a cup of sugar added for taste, I was king of the world.
This non-stop trip wasn’t a sightseeing venture, it was a contest against the clock. The goal was to keep the car moving at all times. Only stop to eat when the gas gage showed empty; I was loaded with snacks, drinks, lots of gum, and a reminder to slow down around the towns. The goal was to arrive in Abilene, Texas 26 hours after leaving my home in Richmond, California.
Thus far, I was ahead of schedule. Life was good. I had money in my pocket, a brand new NovaSS with after-market stereo speakers, and an imagination filled with visions of the incoming class of freshman girls. That’s when I hit the wall, not a real concrete wall, but that drowsy zone when your body refuses to obey your stay awake commands.
“Not this time!” I yelled.
I stuck my head out the driver side window, slapped my face at least a hundred times, and after a bit stuck my face out the window again for at least a minute or two. Nothing helped; and the smart thing to do was out of the question. “Stop, and rest for a few minutes, even 15-minutes.”
I was determined and dumb.
“No, not me, I can beat this drowsiness. I am invincible”
Suddenly, everything changed. My bright-beam headlights revealed a car ahead of me, stopped dead in the middle of the Interstate. No tail lights; No headlights!
I slammed on the brakes. My Nova SS responded instantly, tires screeching, contents of the backseat flew to the front. Time slid into slow motion. The brakes locked and the Nova began to spin in circles skidding toward the mystery car. I could see it coming. Everything was out-of-control, I was toast.
Then, totally unexpectedly, the driver in the mystery car turned on his lights and shot forward just fast enough to miss my spinning rear-end. To this day, he is still a mystery.
When I came to a halt, my Nova was facing the wrong way on the Interstate, engine still running, radio still blasting, my heart still pumping.
Now, I was awake…but nowhere near ready to drive.
I turned around, pulled to the shoulder, punched the flasher button, got out of the car, walked out into the desert and prayed and prayed!
“Thank you, God!”
I was alive, refocused, awake, and ready, but first, it was time to sleep a bit. Just 2 miles ahead was a Rest Stop. I parked the car, thanked God for HIS touch, and dropped off to sleep. God had rescued me from my own stupidity. And, that’s not the only time it’s happened.
Look for God’s roadsigns even in the middle of dumb decisions. It’s a rally cry, a reminder of HIS love and promise.
When HE shows up, oh and He will…
- Hit the brakes.
- Talk it out.
- Thank HIM for the touch.
- Make God proud.
- Write the story and share it.