In the 1960’s Otis Redding wrote a song, “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”… wasting time, watching the ships sail away. Otis was probably thinking about his life. When we think about life, it is full of intersecting paths that converge leading to a future outcome. So when we come to a cross road, we pause, and think about what to do next, sort of like sitting on the dock of a bay. Unfortunately, three days after writing that song, Redding and band members died in a plane crash.
In contemplating the many struggles we face in life, I began to think that society has a high rate of suicides. People have so much pain or conflict they just want to end their life as a means of escape.
They are looking for a sign, a piece of hope, something to cling to. If only we could tell them, in hopeless times, just call on the name of Jesus. Jesus is the light of the world and the light shone into the darkness and the darkness could not comprehend it. Only the light of God can shine and bring forth hope. Jesus loves us no matter what is going on. He forgives all sin.
I would like to share a compelling real life story of a woman who had come to an intersection in her life and wanted to commit suicide. The account is in Mark Batterson’s book, Draw the Circle where he records the amazing testimony of Ken Gaub. Ken and his family were on I75 near Dayton, Ohio. They pulled into a rest stop. His family went into the restaurant while he stayed outside to stretch his legs. He heard a phone ringing in a near by phone booth. The phone kept ringing, and he decided to answer in case it may have been an emergency.
He heard the operator say, “long distance for Ken Gaub.” Ken almost passed out, saying you’ve got to be kidding me. I was just walking in the middle of nowhere and heard this phone ringing. The confused operator said, “is Ken Gaub there?” After making sure this was not a candid camera moment, he said this is Ken Gaub.
A voice on the other side of the line said, Mr. Gaub, my name is Millie. I’m from Harrisburg, PA. You don’t know me but I need your help. She went on to explain that she had written a suicide note but had decided to give prayer one more shot. She said, God, I don’t really want to do this. She told God she had seen Ken Gaub on TV and thought if I could just talk with him, he could help me. How to get in touch with him was a problem and then some numbers popped into her head and she wrote them down. She thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if God were giving me Kens’ number. Then she stepped out in faith and called the number. She could not believe it when the operator said it was him. Millie asked Ken, are you in your office and he said no, Millie was surprised and said then where are you. Ken said, You made the call, don’t you know? She said I don’t even know what area I am calling. I just dialed the numbers on a piece of paper. Ken said, you will not believe this, I am in a phone booth in Dayton, Ohio. Millie said what are you doing there, Ken said answering a pay phone.
He walked away from that phone booth with an electrifying sense of our heavenly father’s concern for each of his children. What are the astronomical odds of this happening? There are millions of phones and innumerable combinations of numbers, only an all knowing God could have caused that woman to dial that number in that phone booth at that moment in time.
When Ken hung up, he walked to the restaurant and sat down with his family, still stunned he said to his wife, you won’t believe this, God knows where I am.