“Home By Saturday”

 What do you do when God’s “still small Voice” speaks to you?

When I was a young man growing up in Texas I found myself getting in the habit of picking up hitchhikers, some soldiers, some tramps and bums, but mostly just ordinary guys trying to get somewhere.

But the world was changing pretty dramatically, and it was becoming more and more dangerous to allow strangers a ride in your car. The final straw came when one local man picked up a seemingly innocent hitchhiker and three days later he was found dead. The word from authorities was strong and certain

“Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers!” 

So, months went by and no matter how tempted I was to pick up someone, I refused the temptation.

Well, it was a brisk Saturday afternoon, just a few days before Christmas. I had spent that afternoon in a nearby town doing visitation for my church. I was all wrapped up in the visitations, so when I looked at my watch and saw the time I realized I had to get going to my next job. As I got in my car, I looked again at my watch. If I didn’t hit a lot of traffic, if nothing slowed me down, I could still make it on time.

That’s when I saw him – a man standing by the side of the road, a hitchhiker. The first thing I noticed was just how big he was – he was a giant of a man. He was wearing old beat up clothes, his jacket was torn and, quite frankly, his face looked kind of scary. I thought to myself, “Even if I was still giving rides, that’s one guy I would not pick up!”

As I passed him by and took one last glance in my rear view mirror, something in my head said, “Go back and pick him up.” I remember saying, “What?” The strong feeling, almost a voice, said again, “Give that man a ride”. I looked in the rear view mirror again; by now he was almost out of sight. I said, “God if this is you talking to me, please not now, not today. I’ve gotta be somewhere”. But the feeling, the impression got even stronger, “Go back and pick that man up!” I thought about my decision to not pick up anymore hitchhikers because of the danger. And then I found a place on that busy road – and turned around.

As I made my way back down toward the man, I prayed that he would be gone, but he wasn’t – there he still stood, looking as big and scary as before, with his thumb stuck out. I made my turn around and stopped right beside him. My window was already down.

“Where you going?” I said.

“I’m going to” – he mentioned a town about 30 miles away.

“Well, I’m not going that far but”, I sighed, “I can take you about 15 of those miles until my turnoff”.

Without any hesitation, he opened up the car door and this giant of a man got inside my car. He practically took up the whole front seat and I could tell he’d been on the road for a while because of his smell of oil and gas and sweat.

Well, we had hardly pulled back on the road and he said, “God told you to stop and pick me up didn’t He?” I felt a shiver up my spine as I looked at him. “I wasn’t for sure whether it was my own mind or what or who it was, but guess now I know – yeah, God told me to pick you up”.

“I knew it”, he said, as he reached over and shook my hand with his big hand. That’s when he told me his story.

He told me that for most all his adult life he had been a wretch of a person – he drank too much – he ran around on his wife – he was a terrible husband and father, and finally, one day a few months ago, he had just walked out on his wife and his kids.

Then he told me something that made my hands tremble. He said that only three days ago and about 800 miles away he was on the railroad tracks trying to hop a moving train. He said he didn’t know just exactly what happened, but somehow he fell off the train, and found himself on the tracks in front of another train barreling toward him on the tracks. He said to me, and this is what he said – “My life literally flashed in front of me, and what I saw was a mess. I was a man so far off track that there truly seemed to be no hope. Then as the train barreled toward me to crush me on the tracks, somehow, miraculously, I was off the tracks, somehow I was saved.” 

He went on, “As I laid there in the night, gasping for breath, I could hear my dear mother’s voice, “Son, you need to give your life to God”. 

He paused, wiped a tear from his big cheek, and said,

“I did – right there on those railroad tracks, in the middle of nowhere, I gave my heart to God. But just what would I do now to fix the big mess I had made? I knew. I would get up and go back home. I would beg my wife’s forgiveness and be the husband and father that God intended me to be.”

He went on, “That next day”, he said, “I called my wife and told her I was coming home.”

“Don’t bother”, she said. “I’m through with you. You have hurt me and the children far too many times. I don’t ever want to see you again”.

He pleaded with her, then, finally, she said this. “If you’re serious, then you be home before Saturday night, and if you’re not here, I don’t ever want to see your face again.” 

He set there very quietly, that giant of a man just looking ahead as we drove down the road – today was Saturday – and it was almost dark.  Now, I understood why God had me stop.

Well, by now, we had just about gotten to my turnoff. But, what should I do? This man had to be home in less than an hour and he was still a good 15 miles away. I tried to explain to him my situation, but before I could even finish, the man said, “God is in control of my destiny now and I will make it home. God didn’t bring me this close to home to see me fail”; and he just got out of the car.

As I made my turn I thought, “Nobody’s gonna pick that guy up; he’s big and smelly and scary”.

Then, out of the rear view mirror I saw it; amazingly, in only a couple of minutes, another car had stopped and this giant of a man was getting in.

God had arranged another ride!

I never saw that man again, but I’ve never forgotten that day and how that still small Voice talked to me; and now when He talks, I know it, and I stop, and listen, and DO.

Have you been hearings that still, small voice lately yourself? Do you act?    

God may have lots of angels to help Him – but He wants you to do it!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.