Often this week…I was very aware of God’s presence and felt that He was driving home a few points through real life illustrations.
The week had a rather jolting start, when I witnessed a train accident while driving to work on Tuesday.
I had to get to work early because of a meeting. Usually when I leave early, its smooth sailing and I get to work without any significant delays. Thankfully I left on time…otherwise I’m not sure when I would have arrived. I was tooling down Tustin Avenue…and just before I got to the train tracks…the guard rails came down. “Oh phooey…but at least I left early…I should be to work on time anyway.”
It wasn’t one of the commuter trains that zip by and everyone is on their way. Instead it was one of the lumbering, long and slow trains. I used to tap my foot and say words of encouragement for the train to move long. But soon God showed me the delay could be put to good use by providing me with some additional prayer time.
But Tuesday…that was a different story. I was a few cars back from the intersection when the train came through. While I couldn’t see what exactly was hit…I could see debris flying up into the air. Oh gosh…that’s not good. It took a while for the train to slow down and come to a stop. In the mean time a commuter train coming the other way came to a stop.
Knowing that I had to be to work soon…I maneuvered my way to the side, was able to back up and turn around. As I was figuring out another route to get to work…I could hear the sirens of police, fire engines and paramedics rushing to the other side of the train tracks where an accident had occurred.
Unfortunately…it wasn’t just some debris that was hit. From the news reports…I learned that a car tried to race past the intersection before the train got there. The driver calculated wrong. Instead his car got stuck under the guard rails.
The real mystery to me wasn’t that someone would try to beat the train. What I found amazing is that the driver and passenger didn’t get out of the car. Instead, they remained in the care and were critically injured when their car was hit.
I continued to ponder that all week long. Then I started thinking how often sin is like that. I make a really stupid or foolish choice, knowing full well that it’s wrong and that there are serious consequences I may encounter. And yet…sometimes I knowingly and willingly choose to sin and do the wrong thing.
There are times…I initially make a bad choice and realize it. I have time to change my mind, turn around or try to mitigate the fallout. Why is it I may choose to remain stiff necked and head strong, when just a little change can alleviate most of the potential damage?
Maybe it’s in a relationship…and I say something really stupid and cause hurt feelings. The right thing to do is apologize. But do I do it? Do I repent quickly?
Well God had another illustration for me on Friday. Before I left for work…I needed to leave a package on the porch for someone to pick up. While I was taking my morning walk…I had the distinct impression from God that I should include in the package two CD albums about God and heaven. As I got back from my walk, I started to go to my car to get the CDs…but couldn’t find my keys.
I knew they had been in my jacket pocket…but now they were nowhere to be found. Gulp…good golly they must have fallen out somewhere along my path. I rushed in the house…frantic to find them. I’m sure Chris thought I’d finally lost my mind as I was searching and muttering. When I couldn’t find the keys in my purse or in their normal place…I realized I had lost them on my walk. I raced out the door retracing my steps. Thankfully, I found them about half a block down.
I thanked God for helping me find them and walked back to my house. As I walked home…God reminded me that just like I needed those keys to get in the car to get the CDs, or to unlock my door or to get in the car and drive…so too I needed to use the key of prayer. It’s one thing to give someone CDs, but if it’s not first covered in prayer…it’s not going anywhere.
Another reminder from God…that I need to be going forth according to His will and plan and in His power, not my own. Salvation is His work…encouraging fellow saints is His work. He may choose to use me as an instrument. But it’s all His work and not my own.
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