THE MESSAGE AND THE MIRACLE
Jody Wilson, Jody's JournalHe’s a man’s man, tall and big. And he’s strong. Life has made him tough just like his dad, but he’s not hard. There is a noble demeanor about him, a gentle strength that quietly whispers, “We’re going to do the right thing here.” And Jim* loves working. There is not a day when he doesn’t gladly crawl out of bed and go to work. He works when he’s sick, he works when he’s well. He works when things are going smoothly. He works when things aren’t going well. He’s a workingman.Some people presume he is on the job because he owns the business. But it is much more than that. The business is woven into the fabric of who he is. It’s his past, his present and his future. The picture is multi-faceted, and deeply layered. It’s a generational thing with a bountiful history that weaves the past and the present together in a deeply satisfying way.But more than that, Jim is a family man. There is reverent admiration when he talks about his dad. With great humility he mentioned a time when Dad’s health was declining. “I was bathing him because he couldn’t do that for himself anymore,” Jim related. As Jim was drying him off his daddy looked at him and said, “I never wanted you to have to do this for me.” Jim looked up at his dad as he dried his legs. “Dad, you probably gave me a few baths in my life.” His dad smiled, “Yeah, I did.” And deep appreciation wrapped in quiet affection flowed between them.Tenderness fills his voice when he mentions his mother. They were close and her influence in his life is also still very much alive though she is no longer with them.He loves his children. He values time with his family above just about anything. You can see it in his eyes when he talks about his kids. His heart swells with love because he is deeply proud of them. He’s not really verbal with his bragging but his face softens when he mentions them.But there was a season of life when struggles swallowed him up. Family needs, business pressures, weariness of soul and spirit pushed things into a downward slide. It wasn’t anything you could put your finger on exactly, life just happened to Jim and everything around him. Call it a funk, a low place, a great sadness, whatever it was it turned life a dismal gray. He didn’t know how he got there and he didn’t know how to get out. But God knew the way through the wilderness and God sent a man.The strange thing when Will*, came in, their conversation was not even about Jim’s situation. Will was talking about his brother who lives in a distant town. Toby* has a business and he was in need of a little encouraging direction. “I just had to give my brother a little advice about how he approached his business.” Jim was listening not only with his ears, but also with his heart. “Toby, I know you’re thankful for your business but do you ever just reach out and touch the door and thank God for opening this door for you?” Those words hit Jim’s heart like a sledgehammer. He and Will continued to talk and Will looked Jim in the eye. “Jim, when you come to work just touch that door and thank God for opening this door for you.” That statement took on a life of its own. Did Will know that God had used him to bring hope to a friend who was wrestling with a tough situation?Even after Jim was at home that evening, and through the night those words bounced around in his mind. He even considered getting up and going back to the workplace and doing exactly what Will had recommended. Somehow deep inside, his heart knew he had been given a key. It was a key he intended to use the very next day.Jim got up and dressed for work just as he had done for years. It was an ordinary day in every day, or so he thought. But those words were dancing in his head and in his heart. He drove to work and parked his truck. He climbed out of the vehicle and approached the door of his business. But before he even unlocked the door, he touched it and said, “God, I thank you for opening this door for me.” It was a simple statement, quickly said but it came from deep inside Jim’s being. “Thank you for opening this door for me.”Jim sat down at his desk as he had done every day for years. And the phone began to ring, “Jim, we have a problem,” and they described what they needed. “Can you take care of this for us?” Jim hung up the phone, but it quickly rang again. “Jim, we’ve got some trouble over here, could you help us out?” And the phone calls continued coming. And in one hour, Jim had $40,000.00 worth of business. He had thanked God for opening this door for him, and God had definitely opened a door.There was not even a particle of pride when Jim shared this incredible event with me. There was only humble acknowledgement that God had heard his voice and had stepped up to partner with him in a fresh way.There is joy on Jim’s face when he relates this intriguing story, nothing short of a miracle. The answer came on an ordinary day in an ordinary conversation with an ordinary fellow who offered an extraordinary bit of advice, profoundly simple and simply profound.Dear Reader, whether you have buried a child, lost your retirement in the stock market mess, sustained an injury in an accident, or daily life has simply dragged you down, the all sufficient God is eager to open a door for you, right here, right now. Just as Jim thanked God for opening the door for him, think about how Jesus might thank you for opening the door to your heart to Him. Take His hand. He’s reaching out to you and He knows the way.*Names have been changed.