It started out as a regular evening as we arrived in Columbia, South Carolina on our way to attend a retirement party for our good friends in Port Wentworth, Georgia. But, God had something else in mind for us that evening when we looked for a place to spend the night.
We like to make our overnight stays in church parking lots, when we find the ones that we are comfortable with and will cause the least suspicion that we really shouldn't be there. On this occasion we arrived at the church of choice and discovered that there were many cars there because they were having several meetings that night. So, since there were people there we entered the building and secured permission to park in their parking area overnight.
Later that evening, we were sitting in our van waiting for everyone to leave after their meetings. One young man and a young woman walked out of the building to their cars. They were the final ones to leave that night. He escorted her to her car and she left as he walked over to his car, loaded his guitar into the trunk and got in to drive away. We noticed that he was having a problem starting the car. It was obvious that his battery was dying and so I felt that I should go over and offer some assistance.
Before I got to his car he opened his door and said to me, “Can I help you?” I responded, “Can I help you? It seems you’re having problems starting the car. I don’t have any jumper cables, but if you do, I can jump your car.” He gave me a look of “who are you?” So, I introduced myself by telling him that I was a retired pastor and that we had been given permission to park overnight in the church lot. He told me that he didn’t have any jumper cables but that I could pray for him and his car. I told him that I would be happy to pray for him. He told me his name was Jacob and said that he was the son of missionaries to Germany and that he’d been all over the world and had seen God do amazing things. So, I prayed for my brother in Christ and asked God to give the power needed to start the car and see Jacob on his way home safely.
Jacob thanked me for my prayer and we said our goodbyes and I expressed to him again that I was sorry I didn’t have my jumper cables with me. He said, “You prayed, that was all the help I needed.” And with that I turned and started walking back to our van.
About half way back I heard him close the door and then the sound of his car starting up. I quickly turned around and raised my hands high in the air and exclaimed, “Praise the Lord.” He too gave praise to God and said to me, “See ….?”
I told Bonnie about this and said to her, “You know… it wasn’t my faith that started that car. It was Jacob’s! He believed and I doubted! Shame on me!”