Have you ever found yourself in a place where you knew that God was chasing you? You might recall a situation or circumstance where you just knew that God was using those events to get your attention. This is what I call the wake up call.
God’s wake up calls always have a purpose. However severe or drastic they may seem, they are designed to open our eyes to the fact that we have run from fellowship with God and under conviction we are called to repentance.
Jonah had a wake up call. God called Jonah to go and preach to the people in Ninevah. Jonah decides to buy a ticket and hop the nearest cruise ship that was going as far away from Ninevah as humanly possible. What Jonah forgot was however far he ran from what God was calling him to do, God was still right there. God had never left Jonah. God had a purpose, a mission for Jonah to accomplish. We all know the story. The whale was Jonah’s wake up call. Being inside the whale gave Jonah a few days to contemplate the error of running from God. Eventually, Jonah knows that the best thing for him is to repent and serve God. Jonah repents and God uses him to preach to Ninevah and the city is saved from ultimate destruction.
David had a wake up call. David lusted after another man’s wife. After sleeping with her and getting her pregnant, David tries to manipulate the husband into going home to sleep with his wife. After the husband refused, David arranged for the man to die in battle. The prophet Nathan went to see David. Nathan told him that the baby was going to die. David finally realized the depth of his sin and out of repentance was birthed Psalm 51. Nathan was David’s wake up call.
I like Mustangs. That is probably an understatement. I really like Mustangs. The first car that I ever bought was a Maroon 1988 Mustang. It was an automatic. At the time, I was 20 years old and that Mustang was everything that I wanted in a car. I had this insane desire to drive that car like it was the General Lee.
I would race it, slide it, drive it like I stole it. i wanted to push that car to its limits. I saw my fair share of speeding tickets in that car. It never crossed my mind that God would use that car as my wake up call.
I did a stretch as a car salesman for a little while in my early 20s. After working a 12 hour shift, I jumped into the Mustang and headed to see my girlfriend that went to school two and a half hours away. Did I mention it was raining. I knew that this relationship was not where God wanted me to be. Both friends and family were waving red flags but I decided to head into the danger zone because that was the relationship that I wanted right then.
Traveling down the interstate in the rain, the Mustang’s rear passenger side tire caught a wet spot just right and I hydroplaned. The car did two full circles on the dark, two lane highway right before going backwards down a deep embankment.
It happened so fast that I could not really piece together what was going on. The car spun around as it came to the bottom of the ditch. The car was buried in mud up to the bottom of the driver’s door and I could not get it to open. I had to crawl out of the passenger side door.
After the humiliating call to my parents and watching a tow truck use six chains to pull my car out of the sludge that held it captive, I begin the process of going home.
That night was a defining moment, an intermission of sorts.
Soon afterwards, that relationship ended. I went back to my church and got involved with my church family.
Looking back, I can see now that it was by God’s grace that he did not allow me to continue down the road I was on. That was not where He wanted me to go. He had to get me off that road and back on His road because He had works that I needed to accomplish.
I am thankful for grace that called me back from my selfishness and steered me in the right direction – following Jesus.
What about you? Has God ever sent you a divine wake up call?