His Name is James

A few years ago, a friend and I were traveling on the interstate heading to Nashville, Tennessee. It was a beautiful morning and I had my cruise control set on 65. (I’m one of those rare individuals who enjoy traveling the speed limit.) All of a sudden their was a huge cymbalic crash and the van lurched forward. We had been hit very hard from behind. The impact pushed the van to the shoulder of the road, and we barreled ahead at a high rate of speed parallel with a steep embankment with no guard rail. Amazingly, I was able to maneuver the van back to the center of the road and gradually bring it to a stop. Thank you, Jesus!

While all this was happening, I saw from my rear view mirror a red truck ricocheting from one end of the highway to the other until it finally spun to a stop facing the opposite direction. My friend and I were dazed, our knees were shaking and we felt weak all over. Finally I got out of the van and jogged a distance back to the other vehicle to see if anyone was hurt. I was surprised to find a young man about 21 years old, throwing a “teenage” fit. He was cursing and swearing, all the while spewing violently about the condition of his truck, his bruises and his unforeseen delay. My thoughts were, “Excuse me, I think I was the one driving down the highway minding my own business when YOU smashed into me!” But thankfully, the Lord bit my tongue. When I discovered everyone was all right, I walked back to the van... which later we discovered had over $6,000.00 worth of damage.

During some quiet moments the Lord brought some things to my attention. Here was a young man who had driven all night from Chicago and he had fallen asleep at the wheel. The evidence obviously pointed to the fact that he did not know the Lord. Yet somewhere out there, beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is mother that just loves this young man’s socks off, and he has a father that thinks his son is his greatest joy, {well, maybe at least some of the time.} And surely he has loved ones praying for his salvation every day. Then the Lord whispered to me, “Now if he had not struck your van on that highway, he would have driven off one of those steep embankments that were in the area and his life would have been snuffed out. The devil would have won another victory.” Then I heard, “I used you to be this young man’s miracle today. I used you to be someone’s answer to prayer. And I used you to help extend this young man’s life so that He could one day hear the message of salvation and be saved.” All I could say was “Wow!”

It’s been almost four years since this accident. There has been a price to pay for this collision. There have been headaches, pain (in more places than one) and I had to see a chiropractor for two years. I know I will never be physically like I was before the accident, but there are no regrets. I know I was at the right place at the right time... and somehow through it all I feel that I know my Saviour better. The Bible says “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) He “stood in the gap” for us, and now we have the opportunity, in a much smaller sense, to stand in the gap for others. I believe God sometimes allows us to be “a saviour” in a circumstance for someone else, sometimes by choice and sometimes not by choice. Sometimes we choose to take the blame when it belongs to someone else. Sometimes we pay the price for someone else’s sins. Sometimes we choose to intervene in someone else’s problem. But when we look at the situation through heaven’s glasses, every time the blessing comes back to us in a big way. We not only get the “feel good’s all over,” but we also see God from a different perspective. We see that the goodness that He purposefully brings to those He loves, US, means enormously more to Him than His own personal pain. And we sense even more the infinity of His love for you and me!

I’ve written all of this to say this...with special regard to the fact that we are in the season of Thanksgiving, that there are two kinds of blessings in this world. There are those that are obvious and those that are not. Perhaps the deepest, darkest, ugliest struggles you are facing today are nothing more than sweet blessings in disguise, for they may bring blessings into the lives of others, they may bring new light from heaven into your life or they may be just the reminder that’s needed to remember that you need God! My prayer for you is that God will grant you the eyes to see the “silver lining” in your circumstances. Even if you don’t see it right now, thank God for the silver lining just because you know it’s there. Thank God for the darkness, for if the sun was always shining, we would never experience the extraordinary beauty of the stars!

His name is James. Will you pray for him? I only met him that one day on the highway...but somehow I know that he will be in heaven someday. And I’ll tell him face to face that he was worth it!

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