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Mysterious Ways

A clergyman many years ago was travelling by coach. He sat by the coachman’s side upon the box. The coachman was one of those unhappy men who fancy nothing is to be done without swearing. He was cursing, swearing, blaspheming, taking God’s name in vain, for many a long mile together. On he drove, now flying into a passion, now beating his horses, now cursing and swearing again. Such were the coachman’s ways. At last the clergy man said to him quietly, “Coachman, I am exceedingly afraid about you”. “Sir”, said the coachman, “what should you be afraid of? All is going on right, we are not likely to be upset”. “Coachman”, said the clergy man again, “I am exceedingly afraid about you; because I cannot think what you would do in heaven, if you got there. There will be no cursing in heaven; there will be no swearing in heaven; there will be no passion in heaven; there will be no horses to beat in heaven”. “Coachman”, said the minister once more, “I cannot think what you would do in heaven”. “Oh”, said the coachman, “that is your opinion!”, and no more was said. Years passed away. A day came when a person told this same clergyman that a sick man desired to see him. He was a stranger. He had come into the parish, he said, because he wanted to die there. The clergyman went to see him. He entered a room and found a dying man, whose face he did not know. “Sir”, said the dying man, “you do not remember me?”. “No”, said the clergyman, “I do not”. “Sir”, said the man, “I remember you. I am that coachman to whom, many years ago, you said, ‘Coachman, I am afraid about you, because I do not know what you would do if you got to heaven’. Sir, those words laid hold upon me. I saw I was not fit to die. Those words worked, and worked, and worked in my heart, and I never rested till I had repented of sin, and fled to Christ, and found peace in Him, and became a new man. And now”, said he, “by the grace of God I trust I am prepared to meet my Maker, and am meet for the inheritance of the saints in light”.

(Source : J C Ryle, Old Paths)

I have recently been preaching on the two judges of Israel - Tola and Jair. And I have been struck that God often works in ordinary ways and unexpected ways. The conversion between the clergyman and the coachman was ordinary. But the result was unexpected. It is a powerful reminder to trust God in all things even when it seems that which we are fervently praying for is not happening. God often works in ways that we cannot see! But he is working! 



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