Good morning, it is Wednesday, August 4, 2021.
I was recently reflecting on a time when God saw me through a very dire situation.
It was 1980. I was only 17 years old and found myself in a place I had no business being in. But that was my way as a teenager. I was reckless and fearless and had a habit of making terrible decisions.
I bumped into an old boyfriend, a biker, while visiting friends over 360 miles from my home. He asked if I would spend the weekend with him. An hour or so of riding on the back of his Harley found me at a biker clubhouse in Hermiston, Oregon.
There was a party planned for that night and he asked me if I would “clean up the place.” I spent 3 or 4 hours scrubbing the bathroom, cleaning the kitchen and getting things organized.
I had a couple of hours before other people were supposed to arrive, so I laid down in a back bedroom and fell fast asleep. Next thing I knew I was being pulled out of bed by my hair with a gun to my head. It was dark and I could hear a lot of commotion.
A rival biker club and shown up from the Tri Cities area in Washington State and what met my eyes when I was taken to the living room scared me, badly. I was shoved down onto a couch along with about 3 other young women. I remember seeing a man on the floor, motionless, his face covered in blood, his eyes staring back at me, never looking away. I still remember how white the whites of his eyes looked.
There had only been two people there when I fell asleep and now the place was full of men in leather, beating other men. Shouts and groans. Blood and guns. It was overwhelming.
My ‘boyfriend’ was in the kitchen, and he looked scared. I had never seen that expression on his face and that caused me even more worry! Everyone was either beaten up or doing the beating and it was chaos.
One of the rival bikers walked over to the couch and told all of us girls to get up and come with him to another bedroom. I prayed “Dear God, help me!”
He told us, “stay in here and do not open the door. We are not here to hurt you.” One of the girls started crying hysterically and repeating “we are going to die! We are going to die!” Another told her to ‘shut up!’ I was numb.
I thought of my family. I thought of my one-year-old son. I thought of the many dumb decisions I had made in my life, and I prayed. I prayed like never before, “Father, please get me out of here alive! Forgive me for being here. Help me Lord!”
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” -ESV
We had been in the room with the door closed for what seemed forever, when suddenly we heard several gunshots. Emotions shifted to high gear. Girls were crying and screaming. One girl was trying to get the window open, but it was nailed shut. I remained silent.
Things got very quiet as suddenly our door opened, and we were told that the rival gang had left. They had shot all the tires of the bikes on their way out.
My boyfriend told me it was not a good idea for me to stay and I ended up getting a ride to the greyhound bus station with one of the girls in her car. The station was dark as we pulled up; closed at that hour: midnight. The girls didn’t care, they just wanted me out of their car. As they pulled away, I realized I had forgotten my pillow and thought, what a silly thing to think of. I had much bigger problems. Even if the bus station was open, I had no money.
What was I going to do? It was cold and dark, and I was afraid. I decided to walk into town.
I had my duffle bag and stopped at the first restaurant I could find that was opened all night. I used the restroom and put on another layer of clothes to stay warm.
As I walked out, a woman in a car in the parking lot yelled at me, “Hey! What are you doing?”
I told her I was stranded and was just waiting until morning so I could call a friend to come get me. She talked me into getting into her car.
Long story short, she took me to her home. She made a bed on her couch for me and let me use her phone the next morning to call a friend, who was about 45 miles away. She made me breakfast and let me wait in her apartment until my ride arrived.
I have often thought about that night. So many things could have gone wrong!! So many things. From the biker club house, to the drop at a closed bus station, to the walk into town, to getting into the car of a stranger, it could have ended very badly for me.
To this day I believe God sent that woman at just the right time to rescue me. She had gone to the restaurant to buy cigarettes out of the vending machine. Two minutes sooner or two minutes later and I would have missed her. I would have been on the streets all night, in a strange town. God is so good!
I am reminded of Psalm 91:11-12 “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” ESV In other words God will instruct His angels to watch over you and me; to guard us and offer us protection.
Luke 4:10-11 is quoting the Psalms, “for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
Although I was not leading the life I should then, God knew where my path would take me. God knew that I would turn from my reckless ways. God knew that even though I was a sinner, I was worth saving.
That is what makes me love Him even more. Romans 5:8 tells us that “…God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
What a mighty God we serve. Our God is a loving God who gives us another chance, and another and another. His mercies never fail!
Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning…” - ESV
Philippians 1:6 ESV “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
If you find yourself constantly making poor decisions, remember Jesus is right there, ready to help you turn your life around. Remember we each have a guardian angel that is ever at the ready to step in and help protect us. Remember our Heavenly Father knows the beginning from the end, and He wants to save you!
Psalm 34:7 ESV “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.”
You can and will be delivered if you simply cry out to God. He hears you! He will save you.
He will forgive you!
Claim the promise from Psalm 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” ESV