I was sitting in the car inside a parking lot, taking a moment to think about changes in my life and work. It felt like I had hit a plateau, and I was honestly a little worried.
Suddenly a man popped up next to my window. Short, straggly, and with an air of boundless cheer, he greeted me warmly. I was a little surprised, and even more cautious. Crime is rampant in South Africa, and there are plenty of opportunists looking for an easy mark.
But as I sat there giving him a suspicious sideways stare, he continued: “Beautiful day today!”
I grunted, making a mental list of the valuables in the car.
“God just really knows how to make each day special!” Again I curtly agreed, unsure of where he was going with the topic.
“One thing about God, He knows everything! He’s our Savior, and He doesn’t just save us from hell, but also from our problems here!” Now I was intrigued, and responded more enthusiastically.
He then leaned in, resting his arm on the car with the familiarity of an old friend, and said, “You know another thing? God has seasons in our life. Each one is different, and each one requires our full attention at that time. But His presence is in every season and time, regardless of when it comes or what it brings to our life. He’s always with us to help us into a new season.”
I can’t quite remember what I said in response; I was overwhelmed. He smiled, wished me a nice day, turned, and strolled away, whistling a tune as he went. I wanted to say more, to tell him that he was heaven-sent to encourage me, to let him know what his words meant to my troubled soul. But the more I think about the whole experience, the more I realize he already knew.
That quiet day, my turbulent heart was calmed by the same one who calmed the sea for His disciples. I don’t know who that man, whose name I never even discovered, was. What I do know is that he was there for me, Jesus manifested to a frightened disciple. The seasons of my life will continue to change, but Jesus will not.1
1. See Hebrews 13:8.