Divine Intervention

Several years ago, a young man named Rick was walking along a country road deep in the forest late at night, well past midnight.  It was a warm summer night and although the hour was late, there was a full moon that helped light up the road he was walking on.

Rick had been hitchhiking around the country for about 2 years and when rides were not plentiful, he didn't mind walking; in fact night time often was preferred if he wasn't in a hurry to get somewhere, because he enjoyed the stillness and quiet of the night and the soft gentle breeze blowing through the trees.  The part of the country that he was in tonight was unknown to him...perhaps Washington or maybe Oregon, but the right side of the road was forested and he enjoyed the soft breeze blowing through through the tall trees.

Soon he came upon an overpass and after walking halfway across, stopped and leaned over, listening to the sounds of a bubbling creek far below, although in the darkness, he couldn't see the creek or river.  "What a beautiful night", he thought, with the moonbeams shining down on the trees and the peaceful sounds of the water below.

Suddenly, he also picked up the sounds of laughter and water splashing below.

"There are people down there playing in the water. " That's kind of odd, this late at night and out here in the middle of nowhere", he thought.  He could discern the voices he heard and knew that there were both young men and women.

"Hello, down there", he yelled out and no sooner had the words left his mouth, that he realized the foolishness of his actions.  It was late at night, in the middle of the forest on some lonely country road and warning bells were ringing loud and clear in his head.  He leaned closer, trying to hear continued sounds of laughter and splashing, but now there were none, just silence.

Now he started to panic.  What was he going to do?  What if the people he heard below just minutes ago were violent people?  Quickly, he started on his way and since there was no traffic on the road whatsoever, and the moon lit up the road brightly, he decided to walk as fast as he could in the middle of the road.  He reasoned that it was a long way down to the river and if those below should decide to investigate who had called down to them, by the time they climbed up to where he was, he would put a lot of distance between himself and them.

It was all too soon apparent, however, that he realized he had misjudged the time that it would take for the unknown people in the river to climb up to where he had been.  He had only walked for about fifteen or twenty minutes from the overpass when he first heard the sounds of movement through the trees.  Although he could not see anything, he could plainly hear the sounds of twigs snapping on the forest bed as someone or something was approaching.

He continued to walk, quickly, and as he walked, he continued to hear the sounds of someone or something in the forest; more twigs and dead branches snapping as someone stepped on them, following him.  It seemed to him that whomever was following him was making a game out of it...they continued to follow him, but chose to stay in the safety of the darkness of the forest...at least for now.  But Rick knew all too well that sooner or later, whomever or whatever it was, they would eventually come out of the darkness and come for him and that thought absolutely terrified him.

He had never had any serious trouble in all the years of hitchhiking; nothing like this and he never saw a reason to carry a knife or any other weapon.  Still walking in the middle of the road, and hearing the sounds of the footsteps in the forest coming closer and closer, he began to run, but to no avail.  The sounds of whomever was following him told him that they now were also moving faster.

Suddenly the young man screamed out to God.  "God, help me!!  I need your help!!

Now Rick was not a Christian, although he believed in God.  But Rick was quite literally lost in the world and all it's temptations...drugs, free love, sex, and in the past had no time for God and no desire to turn his life around at this time.  But in this situation, when he had run out of options, crying out to God seemed the right thing to do!

Still glancing over his right shoulder at the forest, he noticed a car coming.  He had been walking/running down the very middle of the road; now he moved slightly over to the right side of the road but not completely off the road and stuck out his thumb.

"Please, Lord, let this person stop and pick me up!!!"

Sure enough, the approaching car caught the Rick in it's headlights and did pull over to the side of the road.  Rick opened the passenger door and the driver asked him where he was going.

Rick said "Farther up the road to the next town", and the driver, a young man himself, said, "Fine, well hop in and let's go".

Rick needed no encouragement and as he got into the car, he glanced one more time at the forest, and to his horror, just had enough time to see the branches being moved aside. Whatever or whomever was coming out of the forest and if it hadn't been for the approaching car, well....the young man didn't even want to consider what might have happened.  The car moved back onto the road and off they went, and Rick never had the chance to see what it was that had trailed him through the forest that night.

The driver of the car and Rick engaged in small talk, but Rick never confided in the driver what he had just been through and soon, they came upon a small town and the young man pulled off toward a truck stop and restaurant just off the road.

"Is this ok?",  the young man asked Rick

"This is great.  I really do appreciate the ride.  Thanks a lot", Rick said to the young man and the driver answered,  "You're most welcome" and drove off.  Rick turned to walk into the restaurant and turned around to glance one more time at the young man who had not only given him a ride, but probably saved his life, and the car was gone.

Rick couldn't believe it.  It had only been a second or two since he had closed the door of the car and had turned toward the restaurant.  The car couldn't have driven out of sight that fast, Rick thought, but after this night, he thought anything was possible.

Now most people reading this would think that Rick would instantly fall to the ground and praise God for answering his desperate plea, but that's not what happened.  Rick was stubborn and continued on in his ways for a few more years after that episode but eventually he did come around and finally surrendered his life to Jesus and is now a Born Again Christian and active in his church, has a family but most importantly, praises God every day.  Although Rick still struggles from time to time and sometimes falls, he quickly gets right back up and continues with his personal relationship with Jesus Christ, praying that he daily will grow more in the Lord.  One of Rick's favorite expressions is "My worst day with Jesus is a MILLION times better than my best day with Satan"!!

And this one brief chapter in Rick's life, that night, has never left him.  Although the sands of time has erased some things, like what the young man that picked Rick up looked like, or what their conversation consisted of, Rick never forgot how God answered his cry for help, by sending an angel to deliver Rick.

Which just goes to prove, at least to Rick, that God had a plan for Rick, and He still does. Just because we don't see God or sometimes don't feel His presence, doesn't mean He's not there. God sees everything we do and all HE asks is that we surrender to Him and accept His free gift of eternal life.

If you're in a situation where you've run out of options or are tired of doing things your own way, cry out to God. HE WILL hear you and HE WILL answer your prayer. Invite Jesus into your heart and start a personal relationship with Jesus today and you will NEVER regret it.

+++ Thank you, Jesus, for saving my life!!! +++

R. L. Harris
January 16, 2004




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