By the power in God’s grace and mercy, here is where you will find a demonstration of the faith that is written about in my book.
I drive a taxicab late night. No matter how far-fetched your imagination can be; you would still fall short in trying to imagine what happens in a cab.
Have you ever had someone to tell you that they wanted to commit suicide? Last Christmas, I had three separate passengers who spoke of doing just that. Only thing I could do was listen, pray and encourage them not to give up. This was not in the cab driver training manual.
Talking with them caused me to start paying attention. I thought about all the times I stopped the cab, turned the meter off, and listened to a passenger cry, as they shared what they were going through. Wealthy parents who see their son or daughter hooked on prescription drugs or heroin; a husband and wife that are getting divorced; people who have been violated in one way or another, are just a few of those who are screaming out for help. I learned that people from EVERY community are crying out for help, and are not being heard.
Most recently, I picked up a young lady from one of our local hospitals and took her to the college where she lived. She sits in the front seat; a small sandy-blonde haired girl. She’s talking to me as I drive. Suddenly, she starts to cry. She tells me that she went to, “First Friday.” This is what we call the downtown party, hosted by the City of St. Petersburg, on the first Friday of every month. She had one drink. Eight hours later, she is at the hospital, unable to account for the time.
All she knows is that she has been violated.
We arrive to her dorm area, where we sit and talk for a few minutes. We get out of the cab. She comes around to my side and we hug each other. Then I watch her as she runs toward her dorm. She is wearing a baggy blue scrub outfit that was given to her by the hospital. In a plastic zip-lock bag, she carried her other clothes. To see her run, bent over in a gut-wrenching cry, was to see a hurt child running to her room while clinching a teddy bear.
What amount of joy would you have to receive to be glad, and thank God for the bad things that happened to you? The joy of the Lord that you are moving towards, exceeds that amount by far. The greater your pain, the greater the amount of joy you must receive, to be thankful for what you are going through.
Listen! Nothing that happened in your life, caught God off guard. He is not like, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming.” The pain and suffering that we face is anointed to teach us the joy of the Lord. It brings forth strength in us that won’t come forth any other way. It equips us to help those who we couldn’t relate to otherwise.
The joy of the Lord is the strength and gladness we gain, because of the adversity we walk through by faith.
So, I’m driving back in the far-right slow lane, even though I was in a hurry. When suddenly, I see the strangest sight. I saw headlights, facing my direction, as I went around a bend in the road. This guy was slumped over his steering wheel, doing about 80 mph. He was in the fast lane, headed north bound, on the south bound side of the highway.
I’m confused for a second. Like, WTF is this MF doing? It happened so fast that all I could do was watch him over my left shoulder as we passed each other. Had I been in my normal position, he could have hit me head on and killed me. But because I was in the far-right lane, he passed me before he hit and killed someone else.
I believe with all my heart that the Lord directed me out of harm’s way. I had never driven in the slow lane, when returning from the airport around that time. It would not have made sense to me. A customer told me that the Lord saved me, because He had work for me to finish. I can’t help, but to agree.
I would have been caught slipping had I died that morning. Like a seed, the fact that God saved me, is growing in my heart. It is causing me to work faster at doing God’s will for my life. Even though I have done wrong since, the near-death experience is changing me.
At times I tremble with fear. My fear causes me to move forward with boldness, as I thank God for His mercy and grace. I am telling you this, because I want you to know where I am coming from. I fear God, more than I fear what anyone else thinks.
It is okay with me if you don’t believe I am delivering a word from the Lord. I already know what you are about to do, if you are not doing it already. You will be joining me as we praise the Lord for His mercy and grace, with a loud voice. You will hastily do God’s will, with fear and trembling. I SAY THIS WITH BOLD CONFIDENCE.
1 WTF: What Type Faith
2 MF: My Friend