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I Ran a Red Light, and God Showed Up

November 18, 2013 7 Comments

Traffic lightA week ago Janice and I were in North Carolina for a Leadership Conference with the South East District of Foursquare churches. On Friday night Janice would be receiving her ordination. We left our hotel in time to arrive at our meeting place for a reception for those being ordained. I approached an intersection and remembered that I would make a right turn then a pretty quick left turn. After I turned right, there were two red lights less than half a block a part. Unfortunately I set my focus on the second light. It was green but the first one was red. Janice tried to warn me; however, it was too late.  I looked in my side view mirror and I saw a car turning left into my lane. It looked like we were going to miss each other but suddenly the rear of our van moved to the right as we made contact. Clearly this was not the best way to meet a stranger. 

 God Showed Up

No one was hurt other than our cars. The man got out of his car and I apologized for my mistake.  After telling him where I was going he asked if I was a Pastor. The gentleman was from India and he told me he was Hindu. I will refer to him as “P.” Of course the police showed up, and we moved our cars out of the road. My back left tire had blown out so the Policeman said I could go ahead and change my tire while he completed his paperwork. I pulled out the jack and began lowering the spare tire. “P” grabbed the jack and placed it under my van and began to raise it. I told him he did not need to help. I did cause the accident by the way. He ignored me and continued to work. The tire iron that came with the van was designed poorly so we were only able to loosen two of the bolts. I asked the policeman to call a tow truck to help me change the tire. 

 While waiting for the tow truck the policeman gave me the police report and told me he would NOT be writing me a citation. What? I just ran a red light and caused an accident and I was not getting a ticket? Once the tow truck arrived it took the driver about five minutes change the tire. “P” knew the driver and asked if could charge the service to his own account so I could receive his company discount. The driver said that since the police were involved he had to charge me the full price of $130. The tow truck driver went to his truck to write up the bill and I told “P” he could leave. He insisted on staying. The tow man returned and told me it was my “lucky night.” He said that since I was not cited he ripped up the bill and asked for a mere $20. I opened my wallet and found I only had $4 (Who carries cash anymore?) Before I could ask the location of the nearest ATM “P” pulled out $20 from his wallet and paid the bill. I stood there speechless. (I am not lucky, I am blessed)

 I ran a red light

  • The accident was noted as my fault but I was not given a citation.
  • “P” whom I was in the accident with helped me change my flat tire.
  • “P” would pay my bill to the tow man.
  • At “P’s” initiation I was able to share about the second coming of Jesus Christ.
  • “P” insisted on staying with me to make sure I could safely drive off.
  • A tire store was right across the street from our hotel. (I got a new tire in less than 30 minutes)

 I quietly prayed to God, “What was he up too.” – This is what I heard:

  • I am always with you and I have control over your circumstances. You will walk in that blessing. 
  • I will send the resources of the world to you for my Glory (This was more a word for our ministry)
  • All things do work for good for those called according to my purposes (Romans 8:28)

 I also had to be honest and ask myself how many Christians (myself included) would respond with so much grace? I caused damage to his nice Lexus and disrupted his life. Yet this Hindu man blessed and served me. I pray that somehow a seed was planted that night in his heart that will lead him to Jesus. And I pray that I can live my life with a heart like “P’s” with grace, forgiveness and service to everyone I come into contact with. No matter how that contact occurs. 

 Yes I was stressed out by this event, but God took the opportunity to show Himself in a real way to me. Yes God could have prevented the accident to begin with but then I would have missed out on seeing God show up in my life and work out the circumstances in an incredible way. And we still made it to our meeting on time for Janice’s ordination. 

 I am nothing, He is everything – May all my life be lived for His Glory!

 Your voice is important; I would love to hear from you.

 Share your story. How has God showed up in your daily circumstances?

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photo credit: Great Beyond via photopin cc

Filed in: Faith, Life

About the Author:

I am enthusiastic about helping others discover their purpose and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus. It is great to see their eyes light up at their “Ah Ha!” moment when they discover they were created for something more. My hope is that this blog will help encourage and inspire you along your way. Join the conversation and take the time to share with me your own story. I have been married to my beautiful wife Janice for over 25 years. We currently live in Stockbridge Georgia with two of our children Matt and Victoria. Our oldest Chris has left the nest. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Taffy.
  • Awesome story Jon! Isn’t it great when God shakes up our world view to catch a bigger glimpse? Wow. I’m glad you guys are alright.
    Let me see if I’ve got this right. This guy’s Hindi, so he’s under karma which basically says, “What goes around comes around.” So, he’s honoring God and the man of God he doesn’t know. Wow! I pray he comes to know Jesus.

    • You got it right Bob he was Hindi. He started the conversation by asking what I thought about the status of society, politics etc. That is when i shared that I believed that the world would continue to slide downward until the return of Jesus. He then spoke about karma. I suspect that his belief in karma was a major motivator for him.

  • Everyday Servant

    Hi Jon, Great story of God showing up in your life. Just found your blog. Really like your writing. I have no story to match yours, but was struck recently by the actions of my toddler granddaughter. We picked her up at her house to give her parents a break. She had no idea where we were going. But all she could say was GO! GO! (She likes riding in the car.) That kind of expectancy seemed to me to model the faith we should all have in God and the eager excitement we should have about where he will lead us next. (Uh.. did I mention I think I have lost a lot of that along the way!?) A Martin Luther King quote is out in the twitterverse: “Faith is taking the first step when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

    • I am glad you liked the story. The Dr. King quote is so right. We have to just go for it. I hope I am growing to the point where I can wake up each day tell God GO! GO! and not worry about where that will lead. If I am with Him it should be wonderful.

  • Jon, what an incredible story! My wife often says, “God cares about even the smallest details of our lives.” That’s so true.

    I’ve also been on the receiving end of favor that I definitely didn’t deserve. Each time, I give God all the glory.

    P.S. Where in North Carolina was the conference? I know of some great FourSquare Churches around me.

    • Thanks Larry for the comment. It is humbling when God shows us the favor we don’t deserve. I know it helps me keep my priorities straight. We were in Concord NC meeting at Harvest Community.

  • Jon Spellman

    Great story, great observations!