Why is it always when we have to go to an important meeting that our kids decide to totally misbehave? On one particular day, it saved a group of my friend’s lives.
“Hey kids, stop fighting. Joanna, don’t grab Chris’ breakfast! Chris, stop saying mean things to your sister,” I yelled as the clock brought me closer to the time I was to leave. “Ugh, I am never going to get to this conference on time,” I frustratingly uttered under my breath.
“Hey hon, ready to go? The babysitter just arrived,” my husband cheerfully exclaimed.
Gazing at the milk dripping off the table, I replied, “You go ahead, and I will come after I get the kitchen and the kids cleaned up.”
Finally I exited our apartment to head for the adjacent building where our team member was hosting a training conference for all our national staff. As I was serving in a closed country at the time, all our meetings had to be held secretly, especially to protect our national full-time workers from being arrested.
“Lord, why of all days when we have this important meeting did my kids have to go bonkers?” I prayed in exasperation. I was soon to find out why!
When I got to the elevator, a policeman was standing there. I smiled politely and pushed the elevator button. As my heart began pounding in fear, I silently prayed that the officer would not follow me into the elevator. Sadly, this was not the case.
“Lord, let him push a button for a different floor, please Lord, please!” I desperately prayed. To my horror, he not only did not push another button, but he also followed me when I got out of the elevator. “Lord, what do I do? I can’t let him go to my coworker’s apartment or we will all be arrested! Please help me!”
This is when the Holy Spirit took over. Boldness flooded into my spirit. Confidence sprung forth and I asked the officer if I could help him. He said he was going to talk to my friend about installing a security camera in his home. The police in our city had decided to put video cameras in all the foreigners’ homes to keep tabs on us.
“Sir, please come back in a few days. I am coming to my friends’ house to comfort them and watch their little children because the wife was just told that she may have incurable cancer,” I explained in my broken Chinese.
“This will just take a minute,” the officer said.
When I think now of what I did next, it seems insane! I really think the Spirit gave me crazy boldness! I took the six-foot-tall officer by the arm and spun him around, pulling him to the elevator while I talked a million miles an hour in Chinese – I normally could not speak that fluently. I told him about the visit my friends had to the hospital the day before and how they are devastated (that was actually the truth, though praise God my friend ended up having a benign tumor). I told him to come back in three days because they were flying back to the U.S. Amazingly, he left. . . or so I thought. When I went back upstairs, we looked out the window and he was waiting at the front gate.
We spent the next hour sending our national staff two-by-two down the steps and out a back way over a fence. No one ever got arrested thanks to my children being unusually naughty, me arriving late but exactly at the time the police arrived, and God giving me uncharacteristic courage! God really does work all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (See Romans 8:28)! To this day I am in awe when I think of this story and how the Lord worked it all out to rescue thirty beautiful servants of the Lord.
Many in the world today are dependent on the Lord protecting them from authorities, terrorists, and persecutors. Please pray for our brothers and sisters. This may be an issue for us in America in the years to come.
Perhaps you fear talking to others about your faith because you think you won’t know what to say. Jesus says, “And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said” (Luke 12:11-12).
Is there some other area in your life that you are afraid to move forward: pressing into a new relationship, work, or ministry commitment; pursuing a new path in your job or your schooling; or seeking healing from an addiction, or an emotional or relationship struggle. God will lead and empower you if you trust Him and boldly step forward to serve Him in whatever way He is calling you. And next time someone is making you late, remember this testimony; perhaps God is using this to lead you into a “God moment!” Let me know if you have a “God moment” story. I would love to hear it!