Just About to Give Up
Today for Miracle Monday, we're sharing the testimony of Brother Daniel Rios, where he describes a time when he got hopelessly lost.
When I was fresh out of college and a bit distanced from the Lord, I partied a lot. I spent many days and nights trying to please others, which not only made me grow farther from God, but blinded me to some of His miracles.
At one such party, I remember being separated from my group of friends late at night, getting obscenely lost on a large college campus. The myriad streets all looked the same, especially in the darkness of that freezing night. The winds blew, the cold biting me and finding a way into my very bones. My cell phone had died, and with no understanding of my surroundings, I literally wandered alone in the freezing cold darkness for hours on end. (This was a huge college campus).
I remember at one point even considering knocking on a door and begging for some kind of help. But what was I going to say? “Hey, I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but please help me find my car. And by the way, I have no idea where my car is.”
After another hour or so of walking, when all seemed completely and hopelessly lost, my feet aching with every step and the cold overwhelming, I remember kneeling onto the sidewalk and praying. Praying in the darkness, alone, scared, and wondering if I would even survive the night at the rate things were going. I begged God to send me help in that moment. “Please, Lord, forgive me of my sins and send me a sign…something, anything, to help me get out of this spot.”
I got up tearfully and walked to the end of that ice cold block when I saw a bright light in front of me. As it approached, I realized it was a taxi cab — the first and only one I had seen all night.
I flagged the car down and basically begged the man to help me. (By this time, dawn wasn't far off). I told him how I had been separated from my friends, how my phone had died, and the miles upon miles of walking I had been doing in the cold.
“Get in,” he said. I didn’t argue.
I vividly remember glancing over at his gas meter at the same time as him, and we both looked at each other; it was on empty.
“I’ll drive you around a few blocks. Don’t worry about money, but at some point I have to go back onto the main highway to get gas, and I can’t take you that far.”
“I understand,” I said, thinking to myself how if I didn’t find my car, I could be in serious trouble of exposure and complete and utter exhaustion.
As this kind man put his beat-up yellow taxi cab into drive, I prayed. I prayed to a God I had shrugged off in the weeks and months leading up to that moment; I prayed for mercy, for compassion, for help...
After about ten minutes, the man, clearly as clueless I was about where my car was, said to me, “I’m so sorry, man, but I’m on fumes here. We tried.” The sun was starting to peek its way into the horizon at this point.
“Thank you so much for picking me up and trying,” I said exhaustedly.
As I stepped out of the warm taxi and back into the frigid cold, I made a deal with myself: “I’ll walk one more block, and then I’m finished.”
As I trudged along, feet dragging and seeing the morning rays of light poking through the clouds, I stopped, my mouth dropping in pure and utter disbelief and joy. My car was in the lot directly in front of me!
I can’t explain what happened next, but as the early morning light poured onto the cold streets I had spent the night aimlessly walking, I felt the spirit of God. I put my keys into the ignition and drove off into the sunrise with tears in my eyes, knowing that God had heard my plea.
The odds of finding my car at the exact place where this kind man had dropped me off were insurmountable, impossible.
I must have covered ten-plus miles that night, and the odds a short, random drive in the dark would put me exactly where I needed to be...
I thanked the Lord for sending this angel, a man I’d never met before and haven’t seen since, who God directed to take me exactly where I needed to be just before I was about to completely give up.
Brothers and sisters, the Lord God performs miracles every day. Waking up is one of them. Every now and then, He gives us something we simply cannot deny, a defying of all earthly odds and probability to remind us of His love and everlasting grace and glory.
A few weeks after that incident, I was baptized, and I confidently say it was the best decision I ever made, not only for nights like the one above, but for all of life’s trials and tribulations.
Miracles come in all shapes and sizes, frames and scopes. They are not accidents or coincidence.
How has God showed you his mercy when you were lost in the cold and darkness? We need never worry or doubt: he is always there.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.