Friday, 10 August 2018 11:47

The Night God Showed Up

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Do you remember an occasion when God showed up in a special and unique way? My experience was a night visit. I had been serving as a pastor for approximately ten years when this occurred.

I was tired, discouraged, and burned out. In addition to these emotions, which pastors encounter on a regular basis, I was hurt by the loss of a large group of people from the church I was pastoring. The hurt was intensified by several people making disparaging remarks, as they were leaving the church. The disparaging remarks were like pouring salt into a tender wound.

Discouragement, exhaustion, and burnout are powerful enemies, even without negative comments piled on top. God showed up and encouraged me on a Sunday night, after an evening service. I was travelling in rural Mississippi on a two-lane rural road, by myself, when God spoke and encouraged me. I desperately needed a word from Him. Sometimes when God speaks I struggle to be sure it is God and not some wild emotion I am feeling.

As God spoke He said, “Tim, I have a lady I want you to help tonight.” The word startled me and raised my curiosity. A few minutes later the story unfolded.

I entered the interstate, just south of Hattiesburg, Ms. After driving a few miles, I noticed a car on my side of the interstate moving along slowly without any lights. I drove up near the car and put my headlights on bright and shined into the car. It was a lady. I discerned this was the person I was to help. I decided to pass the car and slow my speed. Sure enough this desperate lady followed my unspoken lead. She followed me to Slidell, La, at which time I thought she would leave the interstate and seek help. She did not! She continued to follow me toward New Orleans. I was headed to the Baptist Seminary located on the east side of New Orleans. When I reached the exit for the seminary I signaled and pulled from the interstate and into the seminary campus. Guess what, the lady followed me into the campus.

I stopped to get my room key for the night and the lady passed me by. This stirred my curiosity! I retrieved my key, jumped into my car, and went hunting my travel friend. Near the back of the campus I found the lady telling her story to her husband. About an hour earlier the lady had called her husband to explain she was having electrical problems and asked him to pray.

It was about that time that God spoke to me, just outside Hattiesburg, Ms. As the lady and I related our stories we celebrated God’s work that Sunday evening. I never heard from that lady or her husband again. However, I have never forgot the powerful experience of that evening. GOD SHOWED UP! It was a life changing experience.

What did I gain from the experience?

  • I was reminded that, no matter how low you might get, God is always there.
  • I was reminded that, when you think there is nothing left on which to build, God is always ready to pick you up and move on.
  • I was reminded that when people get down on you, God is never down on you.
  • I was reminded that God is alive, active, and will be there for us no matter how bad the circumstances.

God will show up for you. Don’t ever lose hope!

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