In recent times I have been traveling a lot and, on one of these days, as I was waiting for the bus to fill up at the bus terminal, I found myself in a conversation with God that went as follows.
Me: “Oh, glory! Thank you, Lord, for all this travelling; as you know, I love the adventure of travel and you have been so gracious to me in this regard.”
God: “Oh yeah?”
Me: “Yes, Lord. I am truly grateful. Moreover, these travels keep me far from home where, as you rightly said, a prophet has no honor in his own country.”
God: “Oh! I said that, did I?”
Me: “Yes, Lord. Back at home, there are so many things that make me to stumble in my walk with You, but out here, there is so much peace!”
God: “Oh? Peace. Is that so?”
Me: “Of course, Lord.”
At this point, the Lord left off talking with me. The small bus had filled up and the driver got in behind the wheel.
As soon as the bus began moving, the driver turned on the radio. The volume was automatically set to the highest level possible, and the driver left it right there.
“Hey!” I shouted from the back seat where I was seated. “Please turn down the volume of your radio.”
The driver did not respond. He did not even look back to see who had called out to him. I could not believe it. Had he not heard me? Even above the din, I had shouted loud enough for anyone outside the bus to hear.
I took a closer look at the driver and for the first time I noticed the fellow had a nasty haircut which I took an instant dislike to. I looked at him again and I did not like anything about him.
I called out for the second time.
“Driver”, I shouted loudly again. “Please turn down your radio.”
I settled uncomfortably back into my seat feeling angry and unsettled both by the the loud music and the cold shoulder the driver had chosen to give me.
After half an hour of high- speed driving (which I also did not like and I was thinking I should warn him about that, too), the bus stopped to drop off some passengers. This being a small bus, the driver was also the conductor. As he came around to take his fare I spoke to him.
“I think you did not hear me”, I said stiffly. “I told you to turn down your radio.”
Without saying a word, the young man stopped taking the fare from the passengers, walked to the front of the bus and turned down the radio’s volume to an acceptable level (as per me).
He then came back and finished taking the fare. I couldn’t help noticing that he had a kind word for each one of the passengers. He even helped an old lady cross the road.
Soon he was done and we drove off. After an hour I arrived at my destination. The driver came round to take my fare. I gave him the money and, as he searched for some loose change in his pockets, I looked into his face. I was looking for an excuse to not like him even more.
But I found nothing there. Instead, I noticed how, despite his cocky haircut, he seemed to be a normal, likable young man.
Right there the Lord spoke to me. He said to me, “You are the problem, not him. If you are looking for something not to like, it is in you, not in him.”
I hadn’t planned on talking to the young man. By the time he gave me the change, though, I realized how much I already liked him. I told him, “Thank you.”
He looked up at me and said, “Thank you, too, sir.”
Then, instead of jumping back into his bus, he just stood there. Suddenly he put his hand back into his trouser pockets and showed me an old one shilling coin.
“You’ve got to be on the lookout for these”, he said, giving me one of the brightest grins I had ever seen. “It appears the same as the new 500 shilling coin. They are using these one-shilling coins to trick people nowadays. Someone tricked me with this one the other day. It is getting to be a common practice.”
“See you around”, he said.
“See you”, I answered absent-mindedly.
As I crossed the road, my eyes were burning with tears. I said to myself, “That boy ought to be preaching the gospel, not me.” He had so much peace. And I was still learning to have God’s peace in me.
The Lord uses any situation to show us how little of His Kingdom we have in us. When we have His Kingdom in short supply in us, that shortage will manifest in us, whether we are at home or far from home.
We cannot run away from the cross. The cross working in us ushers in the Kingdom of God into our hearts. In Colossians 1:24-29, the Apostle Paul writes,
“24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: 25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”
Notice the word “sufferings” there. The more Paul denied himself and walked the narrow path of the cross, the more the incredible grace of God manifested in his life.
[The Lord will use any situation to humble us]