September 12, 2017 • By Ed Wrather
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV.
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. – Matthew 18:20 NKJV.
Have you ever had a vision? I had one once while I was driving to class when I was about 22 years old in 1972. It is the only time that I remember anything like that occurring to me.
Prayer was beginning to move me closer to God. But we still were not attending church, and I still wasn't reading God's Word. Here's how God attempted to obtain my attention. The day had started normally enough. After dropping Jeanie off at work in Oklahoma City (We were now living in Yukon, a suburb of Oklahoma City.), I was on my way to class at Edmond (Another suburb.). On the way, I had the closest thing I have ever had to a vision. It was a vision of a little country church out to the west of Edmond, and of car trouble. In the vision, I could see the church, and somehow knew that I could get help at the little church. Why, I didn't know, as I had never been inside the church; and had only driven by a few times. As I drove into the college parking area, I was finally able to focus my thoughts on the classes ahead.
When my classes were over, and I was ready to head home I thought: “Should I go on the interstate, or cut through the country?” I suddenly remembered my earlier thoughts about car trouble, and decided to take the Edmond Road. As I drove west out of Edmond, I began to think I was becoming paranoid. The car was doing great, no sign of any problem, where had those thoughts about car trouble come from?
The car was still running fine when the engine began to make a noise. Ahead about a mile I could see the little country church (Hopewell Baptist Church aka the Teepee Church at 178th and MacArthur). I thought to myself, “If it doesn't get any worse, I'll try to make it there, I can find help there.” The car did make it to the church, but it died right in front of the church, and wouldn't start. I used the phone in the parsonage, and soon a wrecker came to tow my car away. Later, I found out the bolts holding the fan belt pulleys on had broken. Thirty-six dollars and a few days later, the car was good as new, but I would never forget the experience.
Has God ever given you a hint that you ought to be in church and making time in your life for Him? I have no doubt that He gave me one! At the time, I was too far away from God to realize what had happened. I can see clearly now that God was just trying to get my attention, likely in response to many who were praying for us. It took several years and a few more hints, but finally He did have my attention. The regret that I have is that I didn't immediately start attending that little country church on Edmond Road. Life would have been so much better if I had made time for God during those early years of marriage. Fruitfulness for God would have come much sooner.
After I became a pastor and people would have car trouble right in front of our church...I would always think: “God sent me another one!”