God works in mysterious ways
We hear a lot about road rage these days as the complexities of life cause stress and anger that often result in deadly consequences. Recently, during a Bible study session at my home, a friend, whom I'll refer to as Gregg, told us about a road confrontation that occurred a few days earlier.
As he was making a left turn at an intersection near his home, Gregg noticed a car speeding up toward him as if to block his path. He safely made the turn but heard the screeching sound of brakes being applied. A glance at his rearview mirror indicated that the car was making a U-turn and heading toward him. He could see a clearly agitated young man waving his fist and screaming epithets as he approached.
Gregg stopped his car at the side of the road as the other driver pulled alongside, his head jutting out of the window as he continued a tirade of insults at the astonished object of his derision. He could see that the man was about 17 and behaving extremely irrationally, given the innocuous circumstances. Stunned by the sudden verbal assault, but recognizing that the man was evidently dealing with stress that had nothing to do with the current incident, Gregg tried reasoning with his emotional adversary in an effort to defuse the situation.
"What's the matter?" Gregg asked. "F--- you, old man" was the response. "Young man, what's wrong with you? Why are you so mad? Why do I deserve to be talked to like this?" Gregg replied, trying to grasp the reason for the unbridled anger. "You're a young man with your whole life ahead of you. Why are you so angry?" That only seemed to add to the hostility of his enraged antagonist. "Please don't say that," Gregg implored. "Please let God into your heart."
Not placated by the advice, the teenager shouted, "Let God in my heart? You have no God!" Gregg felt as though he was watching a drowning man crying out for help. "Young man, there is a God, and he loves you and he wants you to open your heart. I pray that you will let him in and he will heal you."
Suddenly, he noticed the man's expression begin to change. The scowl transformed into a look of benign acceptance and understanding. His breathing no longer labored, his hostility subdued, the man's eyes began to water as he swallowed hard. In Gregg's words: "He stopped yelling, took his hands off the steering wheel, and bowed his head into his hands and began to weep. Seeing this, I also wept with him. This lasted for a good fifteen seconds, but it seemed like an eternity. He raised his head and sighed as he wiped back tears. He looked at me and said, 'I am so sorry, Sir. Please forgive me.' I said, 'Young man, God is now in your heart. I love you. Be careful and God bless.'"
In telling this story, Gregg added that it would not have ended amicably a few years ago, because he would have reacted as aggressively and viciously as his attacker. However, he continued, our Bible study sessions, which had begun about a year ago, impacted him, further strengthened his relationship with God, and enabled him to be the person he always wanted to be.
As Gregg related the incident to us, it was clear from the reaction of the group that it had a special meaning. We often hear the phrase "God works in mysterious ways." Perhaps my friend was chosen to be at that place at that time to save a young man from a self-destructive future. My guess is that he will never forget the older gentleman who had the maturity and soundness of mind to help him realize the need to seek a higher power when all seems lost. Moreover, whether you're a believer or not, one thing's certain: the introduction of God in this potentially deadly episode made a difference in more than one life.
Image via Needpix.
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