The Omnipresent God of the Road
Now I am not a
theological Bible scholar by any imagination. The study of angels or the doctrine of
angelology – which I can barely spell – leaves much for
me to comprehend. I suspect that
Balaam’s donkey in Numbers 22 knows more about angels than I do. His donkey got to see the angel.
But being a realist
I know when I feel something that questions the imagination. I can tell if it is real or not. My arm was not only touched, it was
shaken. No one can take away
what happened to me.
I have seen God act
in miraculous ways in my life before.
When I was 30 years of age I was in business for myself. I had a wooden pallet company in
Houston. As is the case with
many businesses you wine and dine your clients.
I was developed a habit of overdoing the wining
and dining. It was becoming obvious that the alcohol was gaining
control over me. There were
several times that I had to have people drive me home as I was not
capable of driving.
Understand that I
was saved when I was 15 in a small country church in East Texas. Throughout my teen years, I would
bounce back and forth with my commitment, but God never let up on me. He continually pointed out His love
for me. Even as I was moving
without His guidance, He was with me all the time.
Looking back, one
evening in 1973, I was watching TV.
I was watching as I usually do – drinking beer. There was a Billy Graham Crusade
on. From time to time during
commercials, I would venture over to Crusade channel and listen for a
You have heard of
osmosis. It is getting something
when you are not aware that it is sticking. God’s still small voice was speaking
through Billy Graham and my soul was listening.
About 3 AM in the
morning as I was watching TV, God spoke to me. Not in an intelligible voice, but one
where there wasn’t any way to miss it – it was supernatural. He told me that He did not want me
drinking any more.
I am familiar today with free will and I could
have chosen to ignore Him. I
felt I had a choice, but I equally felt that based on where I am today,
had I made the wrong choice or ignored His command, I would not be
Somewhere along the
line, I would have taken myself out.
But, I believe that I could have chosen to go on with my life
and accepted the consequences.
But God was so real
in His objective for me not to drink anymore. I felt that my only answer could be,
“Yes, Lord.” I got up from my
recliner and gathered all the alcohol in the house and poured it down
I went to bed crying
because I felt God was picking on me.
Others could drink. I
enjoyed my drinking time and looked forward to lunch with
margaritas. I enjoyed having
beer with the shop crew. Sporting
events just seemed to go with alcohol like bread with butter.
The next morning as
Carol and I prepared to go to Schulenburg, TX for the 4th of
July with her Engelhardt family, I was
reminded of the commitment the night before. I knew I was in trouble. I could not turn down a drink on my
I went out in the front yard by myself and threw
my fist in the air and told God “Alright, God, you want this – you are
going to have to do it. If
someone offers me a beer or a drink, I will not be able to say no!”
You have to
understand that Carol’s family is German. Many were first removed from Germany
while others had been here for a few years. They considered beer as water. I had been with them several times
and each time, alcohol was par for the course.
I knew they knew I
loved beer. I knew that they
would have beer and I knew that they would offer me a beer before they
shook my hand on arriving.
WELL … we got there
… we spoke and hugged some … shook hands with others … kidded with the
kids and settled in for an enjoyable time of food and family
fellowship. BUT can you believe
this – not one person offered me a beer nor was it discussed. It was as if the past was totally
forgotten and the present was as if it was that day.
I went the whole day not having to answer if I
wanted a drink. Strangely it
really did not cross my mind that I was not drinking. That was 43 years ago today and to
this day, I have never had another drink. Twice I was tricked into a taste but
that was nothing.
One month later, God
removed cigarettes from my life.
One Friday afternoon, I noticed that the pack of cigarettes I
had in my shirt pocket was the same pack I had started out the Monday
before. Most of my smoking had
been accompanied by my drinking.
Take a drink and then draw on the cigarette in that order.
I could have easily
replaced the drinking with the cigarettes. I probably would have increased my
dependence on cigarettes even more now that I was not drinking.
On the way home, I
knew that God had removed the need for alcohol and if He could do that
– He could handle cigarettes as well.
I threw away the balance of the pack I had and have not had one
And within a year, God called me into the
ministry. Had I thought this is
where He was going that first night – stop drinking; stop cigarettes;
and start preaching – my answer might have been different?
In God’s infinite
wisdom, He knew that I would need the process. I have never felt more confident of
being where God wants me to be.
I graduated from
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1975 and pastored churches for 5 years, served with a
national evangelist for a year and now involved with the transportation
ministry for over 40 years.
So to know when God
means business; I know that He can do whatever He wants to do. And to awaken me when I was asleep,
He could do it. If He wanted to
use an angel or a two-by-four across my head – He could do it! As a realist, I knew He directed it.
An angel was
dispatched to do it.
The omnipresent God
of the road was with me that night.
He is truly what kept the coach on the road that night. And He protected everyone on the
coach including my hyperactive 10 year old.