Jesus Christ

It was a summer day driving from Colorado through northern rural New Mexico into West Texas.  I was en-route to visit my birthplace where my parents and siblings still reside.  Leslie, our adult daughter and her daughter, Lailah, age two at the time, were sleeping in the car as I drove this portion of our road trip.

The wide, open spaces bring peace and joy to me.  This part of northern New Mexico was green with rolling hills, a lot of ranch land with ample opportunity to gaze on God’s creation and reflect on His provision.  We drove into one of those very small towns where the speed limit drops dramatically, bringing a convergence of highway traffic into slow moving local life. I was in the far right lane coming up quickly behind a vehicle.  I was sure I saw a clear path around it in the left lane.  Now in the left lane, I instantly realized I was wrong.  There was no time to fully brake before I rear-ended the car ahead.

My early driving record was labeled by my family as ‘lead footed’.  When my husband and I married over 34 years ago, as I said ‘I do’, his auto insurance said ‘we do not’.  They cancelled his policy due to my 5 speeding tickets—ouch.  Okay, I think one of those was a parking ticket.   That is much better right?  So from early marriage, I became a slower driver, knowing that we, as a couple, didn’t need any of my past ticket costs now.

In a flash I realized how quickly things had gone wrong in small town New Mexico.  Where did that car come from?  I hadn’t seen it at all, so odd for the “defensive driver” I thought I had become.   What to do?  There were only milliseconds to decide.  I could run into the back of the car or move back into right lane?  No, another vehicle was suddenly on my right.  I momentarily braked, then shouted “JESUS CHRIST!” while pushing pedal to the metal.  There could have been nothing more important to exclaim.

I moved to pass the car by going into the next left lane.  This was a four-lane area, meaning I was passing by driving into the on-coming traffic’s lane.  Keep in mind, I had my most precious cargo with me: my only child and my only granddaughter.  I had prided myself on becoming defensive from drivers just like I presently was.  It felt like “Someone” else took over to move our vehicle like a chess piece, a Master player.

I’m not proud of this scenario I created.  It’s taken me months to write about it.  But I am writing it now, finally, because I want to share my Jesus with you.  A major thought going through my mind in those moments was: “Am I taking the Lord’s name in vain?”  I don’t normally call on His name that way.  When I shouted “JESUS CHRIST”, it just came out - loud and clear.  I felt concern that it might be like what we hear when someone curses.  It can be mysterious the range of thoughts we have in mere seconds!

Rather than rear-ending another vehicle at declining speed, now we were in rapid acceleration going the wrong way.  If there had been an oncoming vehicle, we would have collided head on.  It would have been totally my fault, endangering lives most priceless to me.   Yet, the lane was clear and I passed very quickly and moved to the far right lane again.  There, I slowed way down, while taking in reality.  I distinctly recall the other highway traffic giving me a wide berth those next few miles.  My paprika colored Subaru stood out and they kept some distance!

The invisible reality of His presence I could not fully fathom in that moment or for several days afterward.  This was a divine encounter that took awhile to sink in.  Yet His complete power, willingness, sovereignty, grace and mercy, became clearly manifest and tangible as I relived those moments like a movie scene.

Our 2013 National Day of Prayer theme was taken from Matthew 12: 21, “In His name the nations shall put their hope.”  Thus, individuals should put their hope in Him too.  Truly His very name is powerful.   He answered me as I exclaimed the name above every name.

He knows the intent of our hearts and mine was in immediate need.  He knew in advance that this moment in time would arrive.  When I exclaimed His name, He was there.  There is no other explanation.  He moved to protect and His covering is real and physical.  His response to His name overwhelms me with both awe and stunned thankfulness.  I believe He directed me to punch forward and pass in the lane with no time to be cautious.  I didn’t know if the lane was clear, but I do know 3 of the 4 lanes were occupied.  Either He held that lane open for us or supernaturally cleared it in that moment in time.

Will JESUS CHRIST be there for you in an emergency?  Have you experienced the pure and simple power of His very name?  This should challenge us to keep His name on our lips and in our minds, ready to call to Him at a moment’s notice.   I often tell others, to just say the name JESUS when at a loss for words.  I often say it beneath my breath, quietly in situations, but now I know He responds to a full outright exclamation!

There is great instruction on His name from Philippians 2: 9-11:  “Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Next time I visit your area, who will drive?  How blessed that we hope in Him alone, and none other.

Shalom my fellow brothers and sisters in JESUS CHRIST!


Lisa Crump

Senior Director, Prayer Mobilization