Where Were You?

Another day of baling here. More and more hay being rolled up for the tough northern winter. Down in the meadows at the moment and soon will be oats harvest and second crop upland hay. When I bale I have a fairly modern tractor with a nice quiet cab and I can listen to the radio in air conditioned comfort. Which is OK with me because round baling isn’t exactly what a person would call a clean job. Those balers really belch out the hay dust. But in the tractor I don’t get any dirt on me at all. A couple of weeks ago I was baling and was listening to Christian radio and on a talk show there was a call in and that call in is one that I don’t think I’ll ever forget as long as I live. This evening I want to share a bit of it, it has affected me down to the marrow.

The guy calling into this national Christian radio talk show caught my ear instantly because he was identified from right in this area. No name of course, but said he worked for the DOT, which is the highway guys whom I respect allot, because this is Minnesota and a person depends on those folks keeping the roads clear in the long winters. Plus one of my good friends works for the same outfit from the same area. It seems over the last five years I’ve learned more about the state highway department than I had ever figured I would and i do find it incredibly interesting.

The caller started with how he was on the road and heard the call of an accident very close to where he was. So he went to the location and was the first on there. The victim was a young lady, probably 18 to 20 years old. She was pinned in the car and hurt bad. He couldn’t get her out and was waiting for the crew with the jaws of life to arrive. While waiting he shared Jesus with here and tried to comfort her. She was hurt and pinned so badly she could only look with glazed over eyes. She couldn’t talk. The caller kept up sharing Jesus with her and comforting her as the crew arrived with the jaws of life and after they extracted her from the car they took her in by ambulance. That was the last the caller seen of her. That evening he called in to find out what happened to her and found out she had died.

Emotions over whelmed him. That powerless feeling of knowing he could do nothing. And he got angry with God, very angry, asking why, why, why? He told God in no nice terms that He should have been there. “Where were you” he yelled at God. Mad, bitter, in a whirl,not knowing what was going on, he angrily confronted God. Remembering that young life passing away in front of him, praying to God for help, but she passed away.

All of a sudden the power of God settled over him and spoke to his heart as if a person was speaking next to him. “Where was I during all of this? I was in you!”  The man’s eyes were opened and he understood like he never understood before. Christ in me, not some where hanging around. Not some far off place where He’d have to be called. But in him. With tears streaming down his face he asked God one question, “is she with you?” God answered, “Yes, she’s with me.”

Since that time life has taken on a whole new meaning for that state worker. Now instead of lip service about having Christ in me, he knows its true and lives it. He shares the Gospel all the time with folks he meets. When I heard this testimony on the radio I can tell you, the tears were streaming down my face. Later that evening I found out my wife had heard the same testimony while driving to town and she was moved to tears listening to it. Today baling I was thinking about it and a small revelation came to me. I clearly see now what Paul talks about over and over in the epistles, about being crucified to self, about carrying our cross, about dying to self. Why, to let Jesus move using us. To let Jesus be real through us. Its so embarrassingly simple.  Oh, the power of a regular person’s testimony for making the scriptures clearer!

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