Be Ready When God Ordains a Moment
By Chris Rathbone
Sometimes while walking along in life, just when we least expect it, God ordains a moment. A time when we are just doing what we often do and the Lord puts us in a specific place, at a specific time, with a specific person we may not even know. These are moments that help bring us back to the purpose God has for each of us as Christians. That purpose is to know Him and to make Him known.
Life often distracts us. It’s not that we allow it on purpose, but it just happens without us even realizing it. We all are living in such a busy time. Life has changed even since we were kids. All these modern conveniences that we have that are supposed to give us more time, we just fill up any extra time they give us with something else. And it’s not always bad or sinful stuff, just busy stuff. People get so used to a certain schedule, everyday life will even get a little too routine. Routine isn’t all bad unless it gets to the point our routine is keeping us from seeing those times when God may be wanting us to break out of that routine to show us something else.
Doc said my blood pressure needed to come down. There’s been a lot of stress with all that’s been
happening with my aging parents, all that is happening in our nation, and trying to navigate through all this
pandemic mess, etc, etc. Not to mention that Little Debbie had become a little too much of my daily diet plan. Doc said diet and exercise so I had to break up with Little Debbie and tell bacon bye for a while
till hopefully, things get under control a little. Gabe and I started a little workout routine and I’ve been
trying to hike a few miles every week. That’s what led me to one of those moments that God jolted me out of my spiritual routine so to speak.
One morning I got up early to go on one of my hikes. The weather wasn’t exactly the best for hiking but that routine got me up and out in the cold windy morning. On top of Roan Mountain, the sun was shining bright but it was deceiving, to say the least. The temperature was around 22 and the wind was blowing probably 30 mph.
I bundled up and set out. Though it was a beautiful day to the eyes, it was rough on the body! There was plenty
of snow on the ground and in a few spots, the snow had drifted to a couple of feet deep. I crested the top of the hill
on Jane Bald and ran into an almost waist-deep drift. While struggling to get through, I heard a voice over the wind that seemed to be talking pretty loudly. Looking in that direction, a man was standing about 30 yards out the trail. I just assumed he was talking to other folks that were with him. Stumbling out of the deep drift of snow, I continued to where he was standing.
When I approached him I realized he was alone. I looked on out the trail and I and him were the only ones around. It struck me a little odd because for certain I heard him talking to someone, pretty loud too, for me to hear him over the gusty winds. We struck up a conversation talking about what a beautiful but cold day it was for a hike. He was dressed in heavily insulated camo clothing, a full head mask on where only his eyes were visible. I introduced myself and told him that I was a pastor of a local church in Mitchell County. He never did give me his name, but the moment I told him I was a pastor tears welled up and slowly leaked from the corner of his eyes. He was trying his best to hold them back but it was pretty noticeable. At that moment, the Lord gripped my heart, the Holy Ghost grabbed my attention, and said, “Ol boy, you’re on holy ground!”
With all my heart I believe the voice I heard when I was making my way through that snowdrift was
not him talking to another hiker, he was talking to God! He seemed to be wrestling with something in his heart
that only he and the Lord knew about. He told me his parents raised him in church but he wasn’t in church anymore. He told me he wasn’t a Christian. I didn’t have time to ask those things, he just simply volunteered that information without me saying a word. You see a person can believe in God, even believe what Jesus did on the cross for them, but that same person may have never surrendered to Jesus by faith, repented of sin, and been born again. But God was dealing with this 61-year-old man about something! Yes, he even told me his age, but not his name.
We stood there on that mountain and talked of the greatness of God. As we looked out over those glorious
views I told him how awesome that the God who created all of this for us to enjoy, loves us, and desires for us
to know Him. We talked of the peace that God gives us, how that coming to places like that helps us get away
from all the chaos that is going on in the world. The presence of Jesus was there on that mountain top. Tears
flowed the entire time we talked from this man’s eyes. There was no 3 point sermon, we just talked, and after
I said what I felt led to say, I continued on out the trail to the next rise. On my way back we met up again and we talk again. But this time it was different. Instead of tears in his eyes, there was peace. A peace that only God
can give a man.
This man’s name I do not know, his face I would not recognize, for it was covered except for his eyes.
While I’m not sure exactly what he was wrestling with the Lord about, he seemed to have got an answer. All I
was thinking about was getting that hike in for exercise. What are the odds that a preacher just happened to
come across a man on top of a cold mountain, with no one else around, while he was struggling with the
Lord over something. Reckon he was asking the Lord for a sign, a word, a reason, an answer? Probably so!
And without me even realizing what God was getting ready to do, here I came struggling through the snow
and cold at just the moment God had ordained. Always be ready children, for we never know when God will
ordain a moment for us to make Him known! Glory to God, what a privilege!
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh
you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1 Peter 3:15
Preacher Chris Rathbone serves as Pastor at Mine Creek Baptist Church.
You can read more Good Christian News from Pastor Chris HERE.
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