I attended a prayer meeting on New Year’s Eve in which audience members had the opportunity to share testimonies of God’s faithfulness in their lives in 2012.
As I thought upon 2012, I recognized a theme of God’s faithfulness to me during the year: He had proved Himself to me as my “Just-in-Time Jesus.”
Here are just a few of the ways I experienced Him this way in 2012:
(1) In February, when I was asked to move out of my housing situation on a Tuesday, it was, as I recall, that evening by which I had new housing arranged. And I was completely moved out of my old place and into the new by Friday. Within roughly 72 hours God had moved me. He provided help to get things packed and moved, and a place to go. The whole packing and moving process was, as it were, right on schedule (even though I hadn’t known what the schedule would be and was just finding out as I took one step at a time)! He was my Just-in-Time Jesus!
(2) In April, my spiritual grandmother died. She lived in another state and I considered making the 12-hour car drive (on my own, and during the night) as I was not in a position to purchase a last-minute plane ticket which was priced at $600. But as I considered whether to drive there that particular evening, God provided Scripture and peace that confirmed I should just go to sleep and not go right away, but wait until morning (which would be the day of the wake). When I got up the next day, I had a voicemail from a friend who offered to pay for my airfare to the city where the funeral and wake were being held. I called the airport to book the ticket (which, as I recall, was just in time, as they were near the cut off for even taking any more reservations for such a flight over the phone – given the nearness of its departure). I probably called around 8:30 a.m. and I think the flight was something like 10:30 a.m. Thankfully, they booked me, I packed in I’d say 30 minutes or so, and my house mom graciously gave me a ride to the airport. I arrived in time for the flight. It was like God had the schedule already planned out, I just had to get on board with Him. I made it to the city of her funeral in time to change clothes and was able to borrow the car of a friend out there, and get to the wake on time that evening and attend the funeral the next day. It was a special time. Thanks be to my Just-in-Time Jesus.
(3) In October, my car died while I was driving on the highway and when I pulled over on the shoulder, a state trooper immediately pulled in front of me. He came up to my window and assured me, more than once, that he would not leave me alone. He looked under my car hood, assessing the situation, and even called roadside assistance on my behalf. I did not have AAA and if I’d gotten a tow through my insurance, it was going to be around $180 and they would only cover $50 of that amount. The idea of spending $130 on a tow wasn’t a good one, given a tight budget, but as it turned out, the roadside assistance fellow came (that the trooper contacted) and jumped my battery. The car started! And I was on my way, back to Raleigh, and made it to the mechanic shop where I dropped it off and my dad graciously met me within an hour or so to loan me his car. I still made it that night to my original destination near Charlotte and arrived right on time. Wow. He really is a Just-in-Time Jesus.
(4) By November, it had become clear that I needed a new car. After roughly 5 consecutive months of attempting car repairs, having work done, and being in and out of the shop (it was in one shop for 2 months STRAIGHT!!), a failure of my car to start on Saturday, November 10th was the final straw. I needed a replacement car. I had already been looking for one, but from this day on my search was amplified. While it would take a while to share all the details here, I’ll simply summarize by saying that by the following Friday, November 16th, God had provided me with a 2-year old car that was the make, model, and color I wanted, sold to me by a man whose reputation was positively affirmed to me by a Christian car dealer, and the car was pretty close to the price and mileage I wanted too. It was a nice looking car, and I’d estimate about $2,000 – $3,000 less than a similar car would have cost me at one of those larger used car lots. God provided not just what I needed, but even the kind of car I desired. He provided the funds by the day I needed them (that’s another God-story). And after I bought my “new” car on Friday, my old car sold by the following Tuesday for the price I was asking at that time on Craig’s list. In fact, when the buyer showed up that Tuesday, he came around 3:00 pm and was gone with his new car (and I had received cash from him) by 5:30 pm the same day. So, I only had both cars for right around 4 days. Even the fact, I sold my old car for the amount I did was a blessing – I’d actually started to investigate salvage yards and had been told I could get something like $200 for it. But by selling it on Craig’s I made more than that, praise God! And the buyer (even knowing the problems it had – I provided as full disclosure as I could) seemed a good fit for the car. He was happy to take it and and I was happy to even be able to sell it to a buyer and not have to trash it! Once again, my Lord worked on my behalf – with the provision of a new car, and all that was involved in bringing that to pass, and the sale of my old one. Praise be to the Lord, our Just-in-Time Jesus.
My encouragement to you for 2013 is this: press in to God with whatever need you are facing. Cry out to the One who is happy to hear and help. Tell Him your needs and your desires and ask for His solutions. And let Him become a Just-in-Time Jesus to you, too.