SERENDIPITY FOR SATURDAY

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WILL YOU HEAR YOUR NAME IN HEAVEN?

God’s Word often tells us to be still. And yet, in this busy world of ours, it’s hard to find time to just stop and reflect. For Brent Hairr, his moment of stillness came as he waited for a train to pass by at the railroad tracks. But in that time, God used a divinely timed song on the radio to send Brent a powerful message!

Brent was headed to a meeting for work when flashing red lights at the railroad tracks stopped him. He had plenty of time to get to the nearby appointment, so the delay didn’t bother him. But as he waited for the train to pass with the radio silent, he found his thoughts drifting.

The railroad tracks brought back the memory of a co-worker who’d been killed by a train. Brent was surprised to realize how many years had passed since the tragic accident. “We actually worked on opposite shifts, so he didn’t get to know him well enough to know if he had ever accepted the free salvation and grace offered by Jesus,” Brent recalled.

Brent continued to wonder about his friend. Was he a believer? Had he accepted Christ as his personal savior? Not knowing the answer to these questions started to nag at Brent. His heart ached, and his mood took a nosedive.

Considering he was about to head into a meeting for work, he flipped on the radio to try and improve his mood. And his spirits soared when he realized the song on the radio was a clear case of divine intervention! Brent’s friend, who was killed, was a big fan of Eric Clapton. In fact, Brent recalled a day when his co-worker told him how he thought Eric was the greatest guitar player in the world!

The moment Brent turned on the radio, the opening words to Eric Clapton’s song, “Tears in Heaven” that the musician wrote in memory of his four-year-old son, who in 1991 fell 50 stories to his death from a New York apartment building, greeted him: “Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?” “I no longer wondered if my friend had accepted Christ,” Brent said. “Through divine intervention, I had my answer.”

God speaks to us in many ways — sometimes in ways, others call coincidence. And that’s why being still is so important. Otherwise, you just might miss it!

While growing up in church, I remember a song that spoke to me when I was confronted with choices. Some were good, and some were bad. The lyrics go as follows:

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair.
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

So, it is no wonder that at times that the last line of the chorus became a question. “When the roll is called up yonder, will I be there?” If that has happened to you or someone you know, the Holy Spirit is here to remind us of what God gave the prophet Isaiah to say: “Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance— all who seek the Lord! Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined (Isaiah 51:1).”

This is undoubtedly the kind of message that keeps us going. As the Apostle John was told: “All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine (Revelation 3:5).”

So, this leaves us with a big question. Are we responsible for getting ourselves to heaven, or is the One who saved and redeemed us in charge? Can we make it on our own or do we need His help? In moments like this, you can expect the Holy Spirit to send you a message. Like Brent, it may come through a song on the radio or in church. You may also receive it through His Word or someone who gives you a word of encouragement. It can also be transmitted as a result of a tragedy or hardship. But whatever way God may choose, you’ll be able to say with confidence: “When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there!” – Dr. Robert R Seyda

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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