This question has popped up twice in my life in the same week so I wrote an answer and sent it to the recently found long-lost friend who’d asked. Today, I got the story below as a forwarded email. I couldn’t keep it to myself. It reminded me of the time when, just coming off the part of a pitch dark section of road known as the Devil’s Hairpin, I needed help and the only door open in town was wreathed in reefer curls… But that’s a tale for another time. Hope you enjoy this one:
What’s Your Story?
Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field.” Matthew 13:24 (NLT)
I perched on the top of my car. Water rolled the vehicle down the swollen creek. How in the world did I get in such a mess? I had spoken in Tulsa . As I drove home, rain pelted my car. I listened to the scratchy radio blaring wicked weather warnings.
Maybe you should stop. I ignored the still, small voice.
It’s only an hour, I reasoned. Surely I’ll be fine. I was only five miles from home when I rounded a corner and heard a whoosh. The engine cut out. I opened the car door and water poured in. I slammed it shut. I tried to start the car, but it would not start. I tried again. And again. I heard a terrible clunk. I turned the key to battery power position and managed to get the window half-way down. I looked into the inky darkness and what I saw took my breath away. The creek that bordered the road had taken over and my car was in the middle of it. Water poured in around the bottom of the car door, covering my feet, my ankles, then my knees. I grabbed my purse and my Bible. I pulled off my heels and wrangled through the window. Finally, I sat on the top of the car and it started to float. God, I prayed. Help me. Bright lights flashed at the edge of the water, about 50 feet away. A long Buick, made sometime in the ’70’s, plunged into the water and chugged toward me. It looked like Heaven to me. That is, until the guy rolled down his window. “Jump in!” he said. “Hurry!” He and his buddy wore T-shirts with cut-out sleeves. He had a pack of cigarettes rolled in a bandana around his tattooed arm. I looked at the water. I looked at the Buick … I jumped. I love telling this story. I can tell it and hear the audience roar with laughter. Humor is such a gift. I can tell the story and share how important it is to listen to the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit. I can use it to illustrate how God can use the most unlikely angels to rescue you. You see, we all have life-baskets filled to the brim with stories. I picture Jesus sitting with the disciples sharing the parables. I think about my own mother telling me what it felt like when she finally grasped God’s grace. I hear Lysa TerKeurst sharing her story of adopting her two precious sons from Africa . The question is, have you told your story lately? Maybe your life-basket contains stories about hard times, or moments when you felt alone, or perhaps good times like when God became so real that it transformed you. Somewhere there is someone who will identify with that story, and perhaps find encouragement, or hope, or maybe just a good belly laugh.
Dear Jesus, I am a witness. A story unfolded and written by Your hand. Give me courage to tell it to someone who needs to hear it. Thank You for being the Author of every chapter of my life. In Jesus’ Name, amen.