I’m sharing, with permission, the experience a dear friend recently told me of. She was on her way to the orthodontist to get braces put on. She had a mission, a goal and a time constraint. As she drove to her appointment, she passed a man by the side of the road whose motorcycle had broken down. A few hours later, on her way back home, she passed him again, thinking “Wow, he’s been there a long time.” Just a minute or two further down the road, one of her brackets on her new braces broke loose. She pulled over, called the orthodontist and was told they were near closing time, but if she could hurry back they would take care of the repair. She had a mission, a goal and a time constraint. She turned around on the highway and began to make her way back, passing once again the man on the side of the road. This time she noticed the parts spread around him on the ground. He had labored long. Another bracket in her mouth broke free, and she turned her focus toward getting to the orthodontist. They made the necessary corrections and sent her on her way. Once again, she passed the man and motorcycle, realizing he had now been there several hours, with obviously no one to call for help. Thinking there wasn’t really anything she could do, she turned around anyway and drove back to his location. He explained that his motorcycle had a chain drive and the linkage had come apart. He was without a file, the tool he needed to be able to join the parts back together. Odd that she had in essence, just gone through the same situation and needed the help of others to get the linkage re-aligned. She said she didn’t likely have the tool he needed in her vehicle, but she did have a bottle of water. He was very thankful and said that would be great. She returned to her car where she also found a bag of trail mix, a granola bar and some ibuprofen. When she went to give him the food and water he said, “You must have been my angel today, because after all these hours the pin just slid back into place and I can get back on the road.” She told him how she had felt that the Lord had prompted her to stop. They talked about Jesus for a few minutes and went their separate ways. Once again on the highway, she felt instant remorse, realizing she had not offered to pray with him before they parted. The Lord impressed upon her that it had not been her prayer that the man had needed in that situation. As she told us what a wonderful experience it had been and the lessons she had learned through it, I wondered would some say she missed it and should have stopped the first time she saw him, and would others say she wasn’t really there for him but rather God had planted him there to teach her or to see what she would do? Immediately a passage of scripture came to mind, confirming my feeling that the point was not WHEN she did it but most certainly WHAT she did. When chains are broken, help is needed to put them back together. We have a mission, a goal and a time constraint.
The Chosen Fast
Cry aloud, do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek Me daily and delight to know My ways, as a nation that has done righteousness and has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching God. “Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You take no notice?”
God says, “Certainly, on the day of your fast you find your desires, and are exacting penalty on all your laborers. Certainly, you fast for strife and debate and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You do not fast as you do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head so low, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?
Or, Is not this the fast that I have chosen:
to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the poor who are outcasts into your house? When you see the naked, to cover him and not hide yourself from your own family?
Then your light shall break forth as the morning, and your healing shall spring forth quickly, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your reward. Then you shall call, and the Lord shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall rise in obscurity, and your darkness shall become as the noonday. And the Lord shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Those from among you shall rebuild the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Paths in which to Dwell.
Isaiah 58:1-12 Modern English Version (MEV)