Friday, 14 December 2012
Be happy when things go wrong
We must do our best to protect ourselves from things that harm us. But we need not be overly concerned. Instead, we need to learn to relax in the sovereignty of God.
I thought I did everything right when I planned a short trip to preach in an evening meeting. I checked the car, started it, and even examined the engine. Satisfied that the car was ready, I went inside for a brief time of prayer. But when I went back to the car, it wouldn’t start. I tried for a few minutes, and it was getting late!
Finally, I had to call a taxi. When it arrived, I discovered that the driver was new to the area. He had just recently started his taxi business after a stint in the army.
Because he was unfamiliar with the roads, he had an assistant with him. As he drove out onto the main road, I thought: “Even a bullock cart can overtake our taxi. He came late and now he is going slow. It’s already time for my speech.” I was tempted to get out of the cab and hire another.
But all I said to the taxi driver was, “Who knows, the one person who is going to listen to my speech may not arrive until we get there”. He looked at me confused, so I went on to explain. “I am going to this place for a meeting. The one person who needs to hear what I have to say and know my God, might be working late somewhere and may get to the meeting only by the time I arrive.”
I told him not to speed just because I was in a hurry. He seemed to relax, and I asked him to tell me about his new business. He told me of his plans for settling his children, renovating his old house, and taking care of other personal matters. Finally, we reached the place, almost an hour late.
I asked the driver to wait for me and straight away went to the dias. Once there, I found that some of the young people had been singing all the songs they knew to keep the audience entertained as they waited for me to arrive. I spoke for about forty-five minutes and went back to the taxi for the trip home. As we drove towards the main road, the driver asked me who that “one person” was. I realized that he was asking about my conversation with him on my way to the meeting. I told him that the person may have been in the crowd.
“I am that one person”, the taxi driver said in a loud voice. “I had the privilege of entering the kingdom of God tonight”. His assistant added, “Two persons entered the kingdom of God tonight, I am the second person.” I told the driver to pull over and park the car on the side of the road for a moment. I wanted them to tell me what they understood from the message I had given.
“We were listening to you while you were in the taxi”, one of them said. The other one nodded in agreement. It seemed they were observing my reaction to the delay and listening to my tone of voice as we talked. I had every reason to be upset, but God enabled me to talk to them and encourage them even though we were late.
The two men in the taxi heard me speak on that day and in the course of my talk, they met the same Jesus who lives in me. I explained to them the qualities of Christ and the ways for them to grow in Christ. I told them how Christ can strengthen their character and give them the power to react in positive, encouraging ways.