It was summer at the Bible college and we were paired up for an outreach challenge. We had two days to get from our campus in Kansas down to an onion farm in Texas. On my team neither of us had cars so we had to hitchhike. An 18-wheeler stopped and up we innocently climbed.
My partner folded up his white stick and felt his way up into the back seat. I got in on the passenger side of the front seat.
The driver was a burly, unshaven man, around fifty-something I guessed. He seemed okay at first. In a low gravelly voice he barked, “Where you kids goin’”?
“Down to harvest onions on a farm in Texas,” I answered.
“Uh huh, Uh huh.” He wasn’t much of a talker so we just drove on in an uncomfortable silence. The A/C was on but his forehead was red and sweaty and his brown hair was all greasy looking and sweaty too. He was getting fidgety and I could hear him breathing louder and louder. His hand snaked down under the seat between us and I saw the gun come up in slow motion and pointed right at my face.
He drawled, “You’re gunna do whatever I want.”
I stiffened and gasped, holding my breath as my body froze for what seemed like forever. At that point I had no cognizance of my blind partner in the back seat. I was all alone, physically frozen in time, but my mind was racing frantically, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Help me!”
My body seemed to melt and strengthen at the same time, as a palpable peace poured down over me and through my soul. I drew in a deep breath and slowly made myself as tall as I could as I turned sideways in the seat to face my aggressor.
My action obviously confused him and he turned a little frantic himself, trying to hold the gun at my face and watch me and the road at the same time.
I spoke with loud and clear authority, “You put that down right now in the name of Jesus Christ!” He did it, obeying my words like a robot. “Now pull over.” He did. I knew he didn’t want to let us go, but under the authority of the Lord, it was like he was a prisoner to my words and he couldn’t do anything but. “Now we’re getting out!” and we did.
Even as I write this today, I’m a little amazed that it was real, but I shouldn’t be. Jesus was in the midst of a crowd who wanted to kill him and He walked right through. “Jesus replied, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, before Abraham was born, I Am.’ So they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus concealed Himself and left the temple” (John 8:58-59). He had peace.
On the Lord’s instruction, Paul and Silas walked right out of prison. They had peace. (Acts 16:24-34)
Jesus said, “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John14:27)
Psalm 23:4 says: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.”
We can’t always avoid trouble, but we can walk through it with the peace of Jesus Christ in us.
Jesus lived on earth as a man. He knows how to do it. As our Lord and leader, He will guide us away from trouble and if we get into trouble He will do amazing things to rescue us out of it. He loves us and we can trust Him.
Reading about his life in the gospels, we learn that He was able to get around and through every kind of situation. And Hebrews 2:18 tells us “Because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted, He is able to help and provide immediate assistance to those who are being tempted and exposed to suffering.”
Let’s pray to get to know Him better and trust Him more.