Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world. Isaiah 12:5 (NLT)
And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15b (NLT)
I have never lived life hunting for “signs” from the Lord.
But sometimes they sneak up on me.
Last Thursday I was driving home after a committee meeting. My little VW was zipping along SR-42, slicing through the darkness; and, lo, it was very dark! And when it’s that dark there are things that go “bump” in the night.
Things went bump in the night!
A loud noise and that thump, thump, thump….were all too familiar. I had a flat, and it was raining…hard. And I was wearing church clothes, and there was rain and mud out there. Phrases crossed my mind that I would not be proud to list in this devotion.
As I pulled off to the side at a crossroad, my car half-blocking the side road, I thought of an episode of Criminal Minds I’d watched recently where the (really) bad guy clobbers this unsuspecting traveler changing a tire on the side of the road on a rainy night.
My heart did a few flips. (That’s actually possible when it’s really dark).
As I was kneeling in the rain, staring at a flat tire (and, lo, it was very flat), I was holding a jack with thing-a-ma-jig attachments I’d never seen before (It’s been a long time since I had a new car). Then a white pickup truck pulled alongside. (Insert Criminal Minds music here – did I mention it was really dark?).
The window rolled down and a voice said – “You need some help, partner?” Remembering that was the opening line in the Criminal Minds episode, I stammered out, “uh…yeah, I really do,” at the same time noticing how dark the night was surrounding that white pickup. The “heart flips” began to feel like death rolls.
In a heartbeat, the young man was changing that tire just like he had nothing better to do in the rain and mud on a very dark night. And while he was on that, the patrol cruiser pulled up; the officer in his crisp, clean uniform joined us in the rain, adding the power of his flashlight and car top flashers to stave off the night’s darkness.
Besides the obvious help – getting me back on the road with that cute little donut tire looking much better than my flat, shredded tire – the deputy and the young man who actually spent all that time and muscle in the mud, made me feel so much at ease.
What had started out in feelings of fear and frustrated helplessness turned into that sweet warmth of the sense of being totally loved by a God who cares for you through the thoughtful touch of caring people.
John Phillips and Officer Brad, thank you for being instruments of God’s peace last Thursday; you guys are the best!
For You, Today…
It may be changing a tire or a visit with a casserole dish in hand, or maybe just a smile you cast towards someone in need – but you can be a thankful, joyful, caring instrument of God’s peace today.
And by the way – stop watching so much Criminal Minds.