I had looked forward to Sunday morning all week. After an unexpected, poorly planned move to a different city at the beginning of my semester, I had been running late to just about everything every-single-day. It was quite a small change that impacted me tremendously. Before I knew it I was driving longer distances, and it challenging for me to plan ahead.
What had use to be a 6-minute drive to church was now almost a 30-minute drive. I know, I know. That’s nothing to you daily commuters. Right? I grew in great anticipation for, my Pastor, Josh’s message all week. It had only been a week that I had been staying with a friends.
“Good morning, I had a good night’s sleep
And it’s, my favorite day of the week
And I, I believe I’ll start with prayer
Then get ready cause I gotta get there
Soon as I get through the door
My hands up, feet off the floor
Cause all the saints we go to work (ah)
That’s how we do it down at my church (ah)”
On the ride to church, I prayed and sung worship songs to God to keep myself from the reminder that I was going to be late. As I pulled up and onto the church’s path, I noticed right away that there was no available parking in our lot, but there was parking along the hill. While parking on the hill, I had a bright idea. It was raining by-the-way. I began to turn my car around with a goal that the hood of my car would face the exit. On each side of the hill, there is grass and a dip (ditch). On one side there is more grass and hills, and on the other is more of a wooded area. As I was turning my car around slowly, my car slipped into the dip toward the wooded area. Instead of immediately getting help, I decided to try and take care of it myself. This eventually is what landed my car further into ditch and more into the mud. I took a deep breath, turned off my car, turned on my hazards, grabbed my bible, and locked my car door.
As I was walking up the hill, I felt in my spirit, The Holy Spirit telling me that someone needed to be blocked in, and that they could not leave right away. I then turned and looked at my car. My car was blocking the entire path which leads to the exiting of the church’s lot. Before I knew it another car had parked right behind my car. No one could get in, and no one could get out. I chuckled and said to God, “God, what are you doing?” I entered the church, and immediately warned a few men in the church about my car. It was the start of the communion message, and I had to waited in the lobby. I would giggle to myself at the thought of what God was up to. I was excited. My amusement, of course, was cut short by the strangling, and entanglement of insecurity when a brother walked in. He was in the rush to get out of the parking lot and insisted one of the cars near me be moved. I had never seen him flustered before this day or after, which is why I began to blame myself.
As the man was leaving a few other men from the church gathered around my car in efforts to help me. Be advised—It is still raining. Not only was mud slung everywhere, those brothers were soaked from the rain, and to top it all off my car was surrounded by poison ivy. The poison ivy made it impossible for them to lift and push my car out of the dip (ditch.) I was left with no other choice but to call roadside assistance. A customer service representative informed me that it would take almost an hour for a truck to get to where I was. Anxiety increased as I worried about the time and everyone in the church who would eventually have to leave church. I began to have thoughts like, “Why me?” “Why now, and in the rain, Lord?”
Once I was back inside of the church, I noticed a woman whose face struck me as familiar. I did not know her personally, but I did know that she was a part of my church, somehow. It made me smile to see her because it had been long ago since I have seen her. Finally, I was sitting in my chair, with my eyes glued to my Pastor, Josh Bryd. “This is what I came for! Let’s go, Josh!” -I thought to myself. The moment Josh spoke maybe four sentences, my phone rang. I rushed outside to meet with the man from roadside. At this point there were more than one car behind my car. After getting a few cars moved, I was heading to my car to further assist the man from roadside. As I was walking, I noticed a woman inside of her car crying.
In an attempt to comfort her, I knocked on her car window. To my surprise it was the woman I had noticed just moments before. I asked if she was alright and if there was something I could do to help her. In her response she exclaimed, “I just want to leave.” She then continued saying, “[H]e just will not leave me alone.” She ended with implying that a man had been chasing her. I grew concern for nearly a minute until learning that the “He” she as referring to was in-fact God. I stood outside of her, in the rain, in efforts to comfort her when a friend of mine approached the car. I assumed she was only coming out of the service to move her car, but she had actually been looking for the woman I was talking to. “She is trying to run from us.” My friend said. It had turned out that my friend was a friend of hers, and was concerned about her. So she rushed out of the service looking for her, but my car and I were in the way. Literally. In a few short minutes after my car was eventually pulled out of the ditch. Glory be to God.
I share this story for a number of reasons, but the one that is most important is God’s love in the midst of one daughter’s insecurities and another’s despair. I cannot ignore how God literally blocked in his daughter, and use disciples of Jesus Christ to comfort her. I believe that she had experienced what life has done to many of us. It weighs us down and wears us out. I do not know for sure, but maybe she thought she would come to church and not get noticed. She could have possibly thought that no one understood what she was going through. I really do not know. But then she came, and felt the anointing on Josh, my pastor, and in the room. She hopped up, got into her car, and while in reverse noticed from her rear-view mirror my car blocking the exit. You can run, but you can’t hide. Wow. I know that the important part for me, was noticing just how insecure I had become in situations I could not control. The situations where only God, Himself, could get me out of.
Are you like the woman who ran from God? Or are you like me: it is hard for you to trust God in situations you cannot control? Let’s say you are more like her. Running away from God can be an unconscious response towards life’s challenges. However, we could also run away knowingly. The Holy Bible says in Psalm 139:7-8, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” God loves you very much. There is nothing, not even trouble or persecution, that can separate you and I from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39). I want to challenge you, to make an effort to spend 15 minutes with God each morning and night. Just get as open as you possibly can. If you do not understand why you are running away ask Him to show you why. Pray through the psalms—look at King David. He was a man who was open and honest with God no matter how he was feeling.
Let’s say you are like me. You want to control every little detail in your life; making no room for God to be His Sovereign-self. I have attached a very short piece from, Our Daily Bread’s online community. It just a few seconds it has blessed my life. I feel like crying out to God even as I type. Surrender, my friend. Read Romans 8:1-11 as suggest by Our Daily Bread, blog piece, entitled “Yielding Control.” Here’s a prayer for each of you. You may insert your name in this pray.
Dear Heavenly Father, in the Mighty name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Honor and respect be to Your name! Thank you for the love You have shown on the cross and in each of our lives. Thank you that there is no place we can go to get away from You. The truth is, Jesus, we NEED You. Forgive us when we run away and/or reject you. Have mercy on us and lead us back to you. Thank you for being The Shepard who leaves the 99 other sheep in search for the one (me, you, us.) You are an incredible Friend who really wants to see us grow and prosper. Please forgive us when take control. Help us to no gratify our own flesh’s desires. Teach, O Lord to rely on You and not our own gifts, and talents. Lord we love you and we praise. It is in Your Mighty name Jesus we pray. Amen.
Watch a video on what happen below: