It was not like him at all, but Stan was late. I asked Ricky if he had any idea why. He didn’t. As I waited, I said a prayer that everything was okay. Almost immediately, there was a text on my phone. “Be right there,” it read. I gave Ricky a thumbs-up.
A few minutes later, Stan walked in. He apologized for being late and said, “I would rather apologize to you for being late than have to ask God for His forgiveness for ignoring someone He brought into my life.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Just as I turned on Main Street off of Grand Avenue, he said, “I noticed a woman sitting on a bench near the bus stop. She appeared to be crying and looked a mess.”
Continuing, he added, “My first thought was that she looked like she needed help. My second thought was that I was already running late and I wouldn’t get here on time if I stopped. Just then the Holy Spirit, in essence, spoke in my ear, ‘Stop!’”
“And you listened to that voice,” I replied. “Good for you!”
“Yeah,” Stan replied, “I listened and stopped. I suppose it was good for me, but I can say for certain that it was a whole lot better for her.”
“The woman needed immediate help. She was in distress. I called 911. While we were waiting for that help to come, the woman said something to the effect that she had been there for some time and no one had stopped to help. And she wanted to know why I did.”
“What did you tell her?
“I explained briefly that I’m a Christian and that the voice of God told me to stop to help her.”
“Wow!” I said, “what a great opportunity.”
“It was,” Stan replied. “Out of that brief conversation that wasn’t more than a few minutes before the 911 people arrived, she came to faith.”
“Another wow,” I said. “She accepted God’s free and gracious gift of salvation in that short amount of time? She must have been ready!”
“She was ready,” Stan replied. “And I’m thankful that God had prepared me to be ready to respond in the way He wanted for that person He brought into my life.”
“A ready person,” I commented, “doesn’t have to get ready for what God has.”
“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied. “Be ready to be on time for what God has, even though it may mean you’re late for something else.”
Bible verses to consider:
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season. 2 Timothy 4:2.
. . . for a salvation ready to be revealed . . . . 1 Peter 1:5.
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to every one who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. 1 Peter 3:15.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for sending your only begotten Son into the world so I could believe in Him and have the assurance of spending eternity in your presence when it’s time. Thank you for those people you brought into my life to tell me the truth of your free and gracious provision, those people who were ready for what you had for them to do. I confess that too often I am not ready to do your will with the people you bring before me. I am not ready for what you have because I choose to be ready to do something else apart from you and your will. Please, Father, forgive that foolish approach to living this life for you as you intend. Please help me in following every step of your lead so I am ready to be and to do all you have for me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Are you ready to step into eternity and be in God’s eternal presence because you have accepted His free and gracious provision? If no, why? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in being ready to tell other people that they can have the same thing? If you sense the need for change in how to be ready for what God has whenever, however, and wherever, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?