Sunday evening I had an appointment in Huntsville, Texas. Earlier traffic delays in Dallas had added almost two hours to my trip, and so I was pleased to be exactly on time for my appointment with Harold. Harold leaped to his feet when I arrived, and greeted me with dignified, gentlemanly courtesy. We exchanged pleasantries about traveling and the weather, before getting to the main reason for our meeting—where he was going to spend eternity.
“What about Jesus?” I inquired. “What does He mean to you?”
“Well, first of all, I sure am bull-headed,” Harold answered. When he asked that I read aloud from his King James Bible, I thought to myself that the King’s English sounded foreign to my ears compared to my familiar NIV. Harold continued his self-analysis, and said, “At least I’m not reprobate.” Next he quoted a King James Bible verse about reprobates which let me know that he was familiar with the language of the King James version. Wanting to make sure that I understood what he meant, he added, “You know, I’m not a bad man.”
While we discussed the meaning of reprobate, Harold urged me take a brand new Styx CD, and some cookies. He said that he knew God was pouring out blessings on him because he had been given the Bible only a few hours before I had arrived.
I explained that doing things our own way instead of God’s way was sin. From God’s perspective, everyone misses the mark—everyone needs Jesus. Harold agreed that he was stubborn, so stubborn, in fact, that he had lost most of his teeth in a car wreck by doing things his own way. He said sadly, “I don’t know why I won’t completely surrender my life to God, but He’s on my mind a lot.” We bowed our heads, and I prayed that God would help Harold to make Jesus the boss of his life.
Harold asked me to write in his Bible so that he would have something to remember our meeting. I wrote the refrain of the hymn, “Trust and Obey,” and told him that those words had been a great encouragement to me. We shook hands good-bye, and he cordially thanked me for the visit. I assured him that it was the Lord who had arranged the gift of the Bible, and coordinated our meeting at the gas station.
Harold is hitchhiking to meet his father in Florida. Please pray that God will keep this prodigal safe as he travels, and that he will meet his heavenly Father on the road.