I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus and count them but rubbish.

God’s Path is Never Straight


This has probably been said several times in peoples lives. It becomes true every-time. God simply does not take the straight path to anything. I think sometimes that is why Faith is so important. I think that is why we have to live our lives with our eyes open. There will be chances that we will not see. Often times we see one path God has for us and along the way he puts some curves in it. Because I am such a structured person it can drive me nuts that God puts curves in the road. But the longer I am in ministry the more I see that it is in the curves that God moves.

 This morning such a thing happened. Yesterday at the Easter Service a lady at church told me that her son was having a procedure done at the local VA Hospital. The procedure was at nine. Now I will be honest and tell you initially I was bummed. Monday is my day off and the day after Easter no less. So I was not keen on going.

I was even less keen on the idea this morning when I got up to go. I sat on the end of the bed and thought if going would really make a difference. Does this person really need me to be there?

But I got up and went. Partly b/c sometimes you don’t know the need so you make the trip and see. It would have been unfortunate if there was a need and you not be there to minister to the need. So I arrived and there was construction all over the place down there. I drove around for ten minutes looking for a place to park.

Finally inside I found the guy (we’ll call him Bob) and sat with him and his traveling companion. About ten minutes later Bob went back for prep. I sat and chatted with his companion. Finally I went to ask if he was ready yet and if I could pray with him. They let me in and so I prayed with him and chatted till they took him out.

At that point I was oppressed by the need to use the restroom and so I went. By the restroom was a man in a wheelchair. He looked very familiar. I paid him no real deep thought as my body was now in full control of me. While I was “doing the deed” I started thinking about how the guy in the wheelchair looked familiar. I knew from some where.

A couple years ago I led a group on a mission trip to the southeastern part of Ky. While down there we did a VBS for a church. It was a small church. And unfortunately some churches don’t have the resources to have a VBS. One of the good things you can do is help them reach the kids by helping with this VBS. This is what we did. It was a great experience. As I thought about it perhaps this man in the wheelchair was the minister who led that church when we were down there doing that VBS.

What was disappointing (besides the fact that the restroom did not have double quilted soft toilet paper) was that he passed by and was gone. I didn’t realize it was him until he had passed. I finished up and headed back to the waiting room to say good-bye to the person who was waiting for Bob.

There he was. In the wheelchair in the same place I had to go. He had changed physically and instead of assuming it was him I asked him. It was this same minister. I talked to him and later his wife came in. Seems over the time we were there on the mission trip up till now his health had wained a bit. He had had several strokes and being a heavier person was dealing with the struggles that can come with the extra weight. I chatted with them for a while and they took the old minister back. His wife talked to me for about an hour. She had told me about how they had had some hard times. His health and the trials of ministry had taken the toll on them both. I listened and talked to her. Finally we went in and prayed with her husband and I walked her out and chatted just a little more and then left.

Now I know that people run into people they know all the time. The question is what becomes of it? Why did it happen?

I ponder this day not b/c I am some great minister who reached out to this minister and his wife. I’m not. I just really did more listening than anything. This day was a curve in the road for me. Sure the guy I went to see, Bob, he was thankful and super nice and I know he was glad to see me. Would he have been mad if I had not showed up? Probably not. It was a small procedure that he had had done 4 times before. It was routine.

God got me out of bed this morning not to go see Bob, though God loves Bob, he got me out of bed to see this minister and his wife. To pray with them and comfort the wife by allowing her to bleed on me for a while.

Imagine if I had ignored the curve and went straight ahead? I might have missed what true ministry could be about.

  • James in the Bible says, “True religion (really being connected and in tune to God) is to take care of widows and orphans (or those who cannot help themselves or are down and out.)

At that point those two were orphans to God. They had no family there. They had no church members there. One of the hardest things about being a minister is you often don’t get ministered to. You minister to other needs but yours often go undone. I am glad I took the curve in the road. God opened up to me a special moment to serve him and touch a life. I hope you will let God take you on a side trip sometime.


10 Responses to “God’s Path is Never Straight”

  1. Great story, man. What a great journey we miss if our eyes are always down.

    You said “doing the deed.” Ha. The great writer, Don Miller, calls it “shaking the dew off the lily.” Not to detract from your post or anything!

  2. I had to add some humor in there some where. I hope no one looks down on me for the toilet humor.

    It was great. It was one of those days were you are in tune to God and know that this is what being a Christian is about. Helping those in need.

  3. Thanks man! Sometimes it is hard to do what we know we should be doing! I often will feel foolish afterwards thinking, “Why didn’t I just do what I was supposed to without whining?”

    I do wonder, how do you feel opressed by the need to….never mind!

  4. I guess its just my word for “dump” or “load.”

    Would it sound any worse if I told you after I was finished I felt Emancipated from its oppression?

  5. I was just wondering if it was similar to being oppressed by a spirit?

  6. It can be pretty over powering. Surely you have had that time when you had to go and didn’t get to?

  7. Yeah, I was thinking that there was more involved than “shaking the dew off the lily” if you were concerned about the toilet paper. If you’re sitting down for that, I’m worried about you. My, how we get off on a tangent. Your story reminds me of something else too: things like that are why we put up with some of the crap that the ministry entails. You had the opportunity to not only minister to Bob, but to the preacher: that’s why we’re here, even when we have to put up with silly stuff.

    You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.

  8. Roses are red
    violets are blue
    your 6 foot 7
    therefore I’m shorter
    that you

    Just being supportive and reading you blog

    Love Always,
    Your redheaded pain in the rear

  9. Great Story, I often am amazed at how God places opportuniites for service right in our laps, gotta keep our eyes open and our hearts ready to serve.

  10. Thanks for commenting Derrick.

    It was a great day. Those kind of days bring you back to your purpose. I have such a heart for the ministers as most of us who are ministers do.
    So it wasn’t hard to take the time.

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