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Hope in a Crisis

Paraclete’s “come alongside” ethos can show up in unpredictable but incredible ways. We’re grateful to associate Jeff Lander for allowing us to share his recent post on his Facebook page about an unlikely encounter that should give us all hope. 




by Jeff Lander

The Lord works in some mysterious ways and his timing always comes at just the right time.

Our family has been reading a devotional together for advent. This week’s word: HOPE. And today’s reading centered on the truth that the hope that the world needs to see is found in us – Christ in us.

“And this is the secret: Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory.” – Colossians 1

During our devotional time, the question was raised, “so, what do we need to be ready to do if the hope of glory is found in us?”

Answer: love others and share the good news of Jesus whenever or however we have the chance. It may be in word, in deed, in action, or otherwise.

It’s interesting how God’s teaching and timing work hand-in-hand, right on cue. The devotional we’d just read, went “live” into action that night.

We had just finished having dinner with friends at their home when the snow started to fall. We waited for another 30 minutes before deciding to go home. That extra 30 minutes was all that was needed to be in the right place.

As we drove toward home, the snow had covered the roads. I put my truck into a four-wheel drive and turned onto a road that only had one set of tracks on it. I could tell the driver had been out of control – skid marks everywhere. Then, out of the pitch-black night, I noticed a young woman standing in the snow, waving her hands – but no car. She didn’t have a jacket on and was shivering and sobbing.

My wife rolled down her window and began to check on the young woman. I pulled over, got out of the truck, and helped her get into the back seat to warm up. She was in shock.

As I turned around, I noticed taillights down the hill… it was her car. She had lost control and the car had slammed into the ditch, a telephone pole, and was up on its side. In the process of getting out, she’d lost her phone and walked up the hill – with no coat, no way of getting any help, and all alone.

Connie called her family and we headed to her house to drop her off. We spent some time comforting her along the way, encouraging her, and praying with her. She’d had a traumatic experience and was open to a prayer with the Lord. So, I began to pray out loud as a I drove, inviting him to comfort and bring peace to her in this unexpected event. It was a holy moment of hope.

The timing of tonight was just mind-boggling, but that’s just how God works – why should I be surprised?

• 30 minutes earlier… we would have missed her.
• 30 minutes later…who knows what would have happened to her.
• Directions… I decided to take a different way home. I turned right and then left and came upon the scene. Originally, I was going to go home via the highway, but someone changed my mind.

We learned she is a teacher and so, my wife, being a teacher, could empathize with her immediately. Her family lived near my wife’s workplace, so it gave them comfort knowing that we were close by and gave us access to her family (her mom, her sister, and her dad) – a chance to love them too.

And there was much more.

Don’t ever think that the things that happen each moment are coincidences. I believe that God put us on this earth for his purposes… which he uniquely created each one of us to do. Those purposes reflect his image, give him glory, and create new avenues of sharing his love with complete strangers.

The Bible says in Paul’s letter to the Christians in Ephesus:

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Eph 2:10

So, be ready, friends. God has a plan and a purpose for you…just be available at any time – for this is the mystery of Jesus Christ – he lives in us, and we reflect his love to those around us.

Good night. And safe driving.

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