Monday, June 25, 2007

Don't judge a book by its cover

Last week, I was running out of gas in downtown Cleveland. As I headed east, I saw a BP station, but after the trouble with our van, I've been using Sunoco or Shell instead. So, I kept driving. But the gas gauge was looking pretty bad when I finally pulled over at another exit. The only thing available was ... you guessed it ... BP! As things turned out, it was of the Lord. As I finished filling up, a man with long hair walked over and asked me a question.
MAN: Are you heading toward Lake County?

(pause)

ME: Why do you ask?

MAN: My car broke down and I'm looking for a ride home.

(pause)

ME: Okay, hop in.
As we drove through rush hour traffic, he told me the story of his life. He had just gotten out of prison for shooting a man. Even though it was "self-defense," he was sent away for fifteen years. He was hoping for parole after three years, but the judge had since died and his attorney had left the area. With nobody familiar with his situation, parole was denied.

All of this turned out to be God's hand in his life. If he had been released earlier, he would have left prison no better than when he had arrived. One day, a warden invited him to take part in a Christian ministry for inmates. Although he had visited the program for the food they offered, he saw something in the lives of the volunteers that eventually touched his own life.

Because of the traffic, we were in the car for at least an hour. But this also was of God. As we travelled, I had the opportunity to tell him how God had worked in my life and saved me. After dropping him off, I called my wife (who was visiting my parents in Columbus) to tell her the story. She told me that she had prayed specifically that I would have the opportunity to tell someone about Christ. What an interesting day!
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

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