Monday, September 29, 2014

Four thugs and a car problem: Trusting God in the night

Tonight, my mom shared with me a story told by Gloria Lundstrom, of a lady who experienced the intervention of God. It's such a neat story! So I'll share it here. Note: As with any recounting of supra-natural intervention, we must interpret it by Word of God, in the context of God's Kingdom: His kingdom come, His will be done. Sometimes intervention doesn't come in the way that we want or expect. Sometimes the hours of prayer in darkness seem like they'll never end. But God is still God, and totally good, perfectly holy and loving! We don't always understand God's answers or lack of them, but it's good to give praise with others who experience God's hand firsthand. (God has blessed me with some first hand interventions, and verifiable secondhand ones. He has also blessed me with hours of unanswered prayers, and painful hours of darkness. In all, high praise is due: God is holy and He is good. Alleluia!)

Anyway, to the story: Gloria comments:
The following is one of the most exciting testimonies I've ever heard concerning the power of holding on to God's promises. This is a true story (names have been changed). It was related to me by a very dear friend, Julie Carter, from Decorah, Iowa, who has since gone to be with the Lord.

A Bible study, four thugs, and a car problem

One summer day years back, Julie's friend in California, Jan, attended a Bible study with another friend, Bonnie. The Scripture shared that day was Psalm 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." 

On the way home, they decided to spend a few minutes at a large shopping mall. When they returned to Jan's late-model car, they saw four or five young men loitering around it. The ladies quickly walked through the gang, jumped into the car, rolled up the windows and locked the doors.

Then the men began to terrorize them by beating on the car and pulling on the door handles. Bonnie shared that fear gripped both of them and they began to imagine what the men would do if they broke in. Jan tried to start the car, but to no avail! She tried again, and it still wouldn't start. She turned to Bonnie and said, "We've never had any problems with this car-it's almost new. I don't know why it won't start."

Bonnie, alarmed, said "Jan, we don't have time to waste. Let's test the verses we learned." She began to repeat the words, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Then she prayed, "Okay, God, in Jesus' name, we're standing on your Word." Jan then turned the key and the car started up immediately! She slowly forced her way through the angry young men.

Looking in the rearview mirror as she sped off, she saw the men staring at her car in disbelief. She drove home as quickly as she could, pulled into the driveway, jumped out and ran into the arms of her husband and began sobbing out her story.

He consoled her and then exclaimed, "That's a new car! You shouldn't have had any problems starting it." She cried, "Believe me, honey, it wouldn't start. Then, after we repeated Psalm 46:1, about God being our refuge and strength in times of trouble, I breathed the name of Jesus, turned the key, and the car started right off."

After calming her down, Jan's husband explained he was going to check the car. In a few moments he returned, his face pale and bewildered. "Jan, honey, no wonder the car wouldn't start -- the battery's gone! There's no battery in the car, Jan. Those men took it."

They both cried and praised God, for they knew God had performed a miracle before their very eyes.

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."


p.s. What about the times when God doesn't answer as directly and quickly? Like the lady who was jogging, only to be attacked by dogs, on a lonely road with no one to help her. A dedicated Christian, she called on the Lord to save her. But she was still painfully mauled. She survived, but was badly wounded. Scarred for life, without the same use of her body. It caused her to struggle in faith for some time. Why didn't God answer? It took years for her to understand that Jesus was with her in the attack. 

In the times when we see quick answers, we simply must praise and realize it's all about God and His kingdom, not about us. Likewise, in the times when prayers don't seem to be answered, when pain mounts high and shadows fall all around, we must praise. Praise in the night. Because He is at work. He loves us. Like John the Baptist, we may be on death row, but the gospel is preached around the world, and the kingdom advances. In this kingdom success we take our success, and give thanks in the night. We seek His face always, and know that there will be light. Alleluia!

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