Selling my current motorcycle in order to get a larger, more chromed upgrade was simple enough. I asked for the Lord to bless the work of my hands, committed it all to Him, and proceeded to watch as the whole series of events unfolded in such a way that He yet again used something to teach me more about His nature. There was just one snag on my end.
I almost died.
Truly. I had ridden motorcycles for many years, so the thought of driving this cruiser to the buyer down on Long Island in rush hour traffic on a Friday didn’t phase me. This is why I found it very odd that the moment I swung my leg over and pulled out to embark on my 2 hour journey last Friday, a sense of dread came over me.
I began to talk with the Lord immediately about it, asking Him to show me what He was trying to speak to me about, but just could not get a sense of what was going on. By the time I pulled out onto the parkway, following my dad’s car (he would have to drive me back) I had begun praying some serious protection over myself, my dad and our trip. After all, I knew I had a purpose in life.
But the dread only built, and with each passing mile, I knew in my spirit I was hurtling toward some unseen event that was of great significance.
Sadly, my first thoughts were of myself.
“Lord, if you don’t want me to sell this bike, I’ll let it all go. I don’t need a nicer one. Its Ok.”
I was answered by a rather sudden backfire that, being at highway speed, lurched the bike pretty violently. No release. No relief. Nothing but anxiety.
This went on and on. By the time we had traveled 70 miles I was a mess. I had to keep fighting off visions and vain thoughts of me being thrown over the handlebars. I kept speaking “life” over me, refusing to accept those thoughts. “I have a destiny in you, Lord. I don’t accept those thoughts.”
“I have a wife. I have 3 children. My time is not yet come. I have a purpose in life. I know this Lord.”
Finally… finally… I heard Him speak.
“David, do you think I care enough about you to want you to sell this bike so that you can buy the one you want?”
I am staving off feeling like the devil wants to kill me, and He is asking me about this bike?? Speeding down the highway, the sun setting low, surrounded in glare and traffic, I had the brilliant idea that I cannot believe I never thought of before.
I decided to do what He often does with me. I answered His question with a question.
“Lord, do you love me enough to care one way or another?” I asked, tears actually beginning to well up rather unexpectedly. Just great. Another crying session with the Lord while I am floating on a couch of death doing 65 mph.
I also should have known better. He simply repeated His question back to me… Yeah, well, back at cha’ Lord… again.
This went on and on, and to be honest, it was comforting, as it stayed the extreme anxiety I was managing. Then suddenly, another backfire. I switched the fuel to reserve thinking it must be a fuel issue and the result of some work I did on the valve.
A half hour later, another backfire…and another. I signaled to my dad and pulled over. We were 10 minutes to the buyer’s house and I had determined that it was not a simple valve issue. No way I could sell the bike.
“Lord, I give this all to you. I trust you. I don’t understand what is really going on here at all, but yes, I do believe you love me enough to be involved in everything I am doing. I do believe you are interested in all of me.”
I turned to my earthly dad who had pulled over and stood beside me.
“Let’s go home, Dad. No deal. Lets just get off the next exit. I need a moment to think.”
I Started the bike back up and began to pull out looking west into the sun. I heard the truck only as it was passing. It was swerving to get around me. I had pulled out in front of it. Never saw it at all… and then, with some colorful gestures aimed at me, it and his driver, were gone.
Was that it? That was what all this angst was about?? What a joke I was thinking to myself. I must be getting soft.
I was back up to speed, the bike backfiring constantly now, and heading toward the exit less than a mile away. Very heavy traffic was on either side of me when a thought not my own suddenly popped into my head.
“David, you are going to die now.”
The bike lurched one last time… and died. No power. I tried to re-start. No juice. It was a dead stick… on the freeway.. in the dusk.. without lights, and no throttle.
There was also no chance. Any second I would be slammed by a semi or some other vehicle. There was nowhere for anyone else to maneuver. My speed sloughed off in a matter of seconds to under 30 and I could feel the wall of air as the trucks swept past me on either side. In times past, and I know in times yet to come, my words would be one of proclamation of protection and authority as a child of God. “No evil shall befall me..” sort of stuff. Not then. I understood.. finally. I saw it all. I finally saw… Him. And all that He had worked out… in His love for me, to bring me to this place. A quiet calm overtook me. I was at peace in Him. My wife and the faces of my children flashed through my mind and I was OK with it all.
“Lord, I know you love me. It’s your love that sustains your children. It all about you. I commit myself to you. Please take care of me now.”
I turned toward the shoulder, and as I did a semi swept passed me so close I felt the bike shudder under me. I would be tempted to try to recall all the horns and flashes and bright lights of the vehicles all around me.. but I heard nothing, and the only thing I truly do remember seeing was a row of cars stacked up one behind each other as they all broke around me.
I had barely gotten to the shoulder when the bike stopped rolling.
I sat there a while taking in all that had happened. My dad was very patient with me, as he waited for me in silence. Finally I feebly suggested we look under the seat at the wiring… and there we saw the loose battery terminal.
The bike fired back up to life and my dad and I took some time to praise the Creator of all good things for a few minutes. I later found out that several family members had been prompted to pray protection over my life that evening, including my wife. My mom, at dinner with another believer at the time that night, later described to me the exact scene in detail, the Holy Spirit having showed her a vision of me riding moments before the incident, and began praying fervently for me. God is faithful.
While I was surrendering to Him, He was prompting others to take up arms for me. He knew I wouldn’t. That night was about gentle love and surrender for me.
And here, perhaps oddly enough, is my point. He sustained me not because of any commission I had yet to fulfill. He protected me not because of anything I had yet to accomplish in life. Or because of how much I love Him.. or how faithful I may or may not be..
It was His love that sustained me….
One of my favorite things to look upon are the old relics of toppled statues and idols of cultures past. And so I got to enjoy seeing another one shatter in my own heart that night. That being the idol of self-importance.
In its place He erected a new image. A much greater one.
One of His love.