I never prepay for gas, but this time I did. Ironically, I was wrong at guessing how much gas could fit into my tank. When my tank was full and I still had $4 left of gasoline to use, I mumbled under my breath, “Ok Lord, what am I going to do with $4 of free gas?” As I turned, I saw an unsightly 30 year old man carrying a small gas can approaching me.
“Could you spare a couple of gallons, sir?” the man asked me. Without hesitation and with a gentle chuckle, I asked him, “Do you believe in God?” He said, “Yes, I don’t believe in luck.” As we pumped $4 of gas into his small gas can, we began to talk. He described his meandering journey across Texas as a time of looking for something, but not knowing exactly what. I opened my Bible and shared with him, Acts 17:26-27 CSB, “From one man he has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. He did this so that they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”
The conversation continued despite his gas can being filled. Noticing his skin covered in tattoos, I couldn’t resist asking him about the name that was inked on his forehead. He told me about his best friend who had recently died and the major change that had occurred in that friend’s life just months prior to his death – a change that brought him peace and hope even though he was terminally ill. “I don’t know what it was, but he was a different person than I had known all my life.”
We spoke about death, spiritual beliefs, and even Billy Graham, as I reached in my truck for a Billy Graham tract I’ve used many times, “Steps to Peace with God.” After reading a couple of the Bible verses on the first page of the tract, he asked, “Are these verses in the Bible? Cuz my friend had just mailed me his mother’s Bible. I have it in my car right now!”
What a joy to be at the right place at the right time for God to accomplish His will in Stewart’s life. That 10 minute “random” event was not random at all. Stewart gave his life to Christ at a gas pump and God has filled his tank with fuel from heaven!
God is always at work for His glory and for our good. As Christians, it is easy to say there is no such thing as luck, but to actually believe that God is intricately involved in the details of our lives – that’s the litmus test.
Preparation is an act of faith. If we really believe God is going to do something, we get ready for it. If we believe people need peace and hope, we will be ready to speak of the hope within us at all times (1 Peter 3:14-15).
It’s easy to offer hope to people we know are facing hopeless situations, but the people who need it most are often the ones we never notice. It’s easy to overlook the divine encounters in our paths. They may speak another language, they may be shy, they may look disheveled, they may live with a disability, they may be much older or younger, or a different race than you – but everyone needs hope. Sharing Jesus is the most hope-filled thing you will ever do.
Being prepared to obey God’s voice is the evidence of our faith. No need to wait for the roll of the dice; be ready for action now! Only God knows who He is putting in your path to help.