was a very average day for me in August. Although a Christian for almost
three years at that point, I still contemplated whether God even had a
purpose for my life. To help myself discover what that purpose was, I had
been in counseling for several months. Thatís where I was on that very
average day in August, at a counseling session gone awry. I had come so
far, yet I let the stresses, confusion, and chaos of my everyday life get
me distracted from my spiritual goals. Now, with new eyes, I find myself
in much the same predicament; and that is why I write this today, to pay
tribute to a miraculous lesson that will pull me through again.
It is very human to look around at this vast world and try to make sense of it all, to find Godís hand in it. This meditation often, almost demonically, creeps into the mind when it is least capable of sorting through even the simple decisions. In fact, I can see the little imps now just waiting till all ďchips are downĒ (pardon the allusion), plotting to take it all away from the unguarded Christian. Perhaps thatís what Satanís hosts were scheming that average day in August. I was very discouraged, feeling like my life was beginning to grow mold on its still waters. I needed a change, but I didnít know what or how to change. So I gave up.
Yes, I declared with my mouth I was quitting this game of uncertainties that these Christians called faith, and reverting back to my old crowds of deception and drugs;. I was giving up my eternal life because it no longer made sense to me. I felt trapped, as if God had set me up and led me to a dead end; my life was going nowhere-fast! In a sense, I went on strike. My faith in God didnít appear to be paying off. It was too much work for too little pay and unfair working conditions. I didnít expect much, just barometric answers to my countless questions.
Shall I proceed to describe my mortification and overwhelming joy when God set my thinking straight? See, when I left that counseling session on that average day in August, I said, ďI quit,Ē but not in my heart. I knew it would take a while to callous my heart back to the way it had been B. C. (Before Christ.) I exited the building, kicked my car in, and drove 30 minutes to a grocery store, all the while I contemplated how to start my new life as a non-Christian. Still angry at myself and God, I didnít want to see anyone I knew at the store, so I completed my shopping in less than ten minutes. As I got closer to my car in the parking lot, I saw a piece of paper on my windshield. It appeared to be just another lure of the world trying to suck me into its seductive advertisements, I thought. Then I watched for the autumn breeze to catch the leafy pages of other fliers on other cars, but it didnít. Still trying to guess what it might be, I assumed someone really had seen me despite my avoidance and left a note on my car just to say peek-a-boo.
Someone had indeed found me there at that grocery store on that average day in August. Although, Iím not so sure you could call it a someone, for it was without a doubt, an angel. I slowly slipped the square of paper out of my wiper and read the intense gravity of the following poem:
IF GOD SHOULD GO ON STRIKE
How good it is that
God above has never gone on strike
ďIíll give my orders
to the sun, cut off the heat supply,
You know he would be
justified, if fairness were the game,
Men say they want a
better deal, and so on strike they go,
Very appropriately, this poem on my windshield was merely credited to ďAuthor unknown.Ē I knew very well who the author was and cried out to Him right there in my car. Praise you God for seeing through my despair and counting me valuable enough to actually send a real angel, a heavenly messenger to me, of all people.
This newsletter* may end up in a city street, a soggy gutter, the chair next to you at the doctorís office, wedged into a textbook, or tossed out with yesterdayís junk mail. But somewhere I know there is a single young lady or a lonely elderly man sitting in a favorite secluded spot watching life pass them by wishing they knew how to get back in the race, and wondering when God will help. Donít give up, whomever you are. Youíre looking over the edge wanting to give up, it doesnít make sense anymore. Donít give up, not even for a moment. God is more powerful than the chains of circumstances that are holding you down. Sometimes, I donít even know how to follow my own advice. I just know I have to.
My prayer is that you
will pass this poem on to others in much the same way that God put it into
my own hands. Ask him to lead you to someone who needs to see God, who
needs to be ďtouched by an angel.Ē
*This essay was originally printed in a congregational newsletter several years ago and is reprinted with permission of the author.
By Lisa Galichia Stough 1997