Frowning at the red plastic gas can lodged under my front bumper, I mumbled under my breath, “Oh, Lord, what am I going to do now?”
I reached for my cell phone to call my safest and most reliable roadside help … my husband … when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the truck.
It bounced along the dirt road from the opposite direction of where I parked on the grassy shoulder. Blue-green paint faded to the body’s metal, scratches and dents from a hard, long life. Looking like the driver who stopped and stepped out of its cab.
Slim in stature, he wore a rumpled, long-sleeved tan shirt and jeans shredded at the knees. His unshaven brown-grey beard covered a face lined with a road map of wrinkles. Tufts of silver hair peeked out from an oil – stained baseball cap, and I caught the smell of dirt and sweat as he walked toward me.
Oh, Lord, what am I going to do now?
“Need some help, young lady?”
On the verge of dismissing him with an “I Can Do It Myself” retort, I peered over his shoulder. The cars on Highway 380 whizzed past, drivers with eyes glued to the road ahead, as if determined to avoid eye contact with me. I looked at the scruffy-looking man again and released a nervous laugh. “Yeah, can you lift the car off that red thing?”
The man knelt on his threadbare jeans, grabbed the can with already soiled hands and yanked it free. Standing, he gave it a shake, and we both heard the gasoline slosh inside. “You’re lucky. I’m surprised you didn’t start a fire with all that friction from dragging it on the road.”
Without time for a thank you, this unlikely roadside assistance threw the crushed can in the bed of his pickup, tipped his cap to me, and drove away, turning onto the highway. Mixing in with all those who passed me without so much as a glance in my direction.
I swung my less sassy, tailor-suited self behind the steering wheel, and took a deep, cleansing breath. Filled with a sense of having been visited unaware by an angel. Not the roadside assistance I expected from his appearance.
Neither did the prophet Samuel expect God to call someone like David as the next king after Saul. Saul was tall and handsome, impressive-looking. David was a scawny shepherd boy, the youngest of Jesse’s sons. Yet, Saul grew self-centered and apart from God. David grew into a warrior with a heart for God. Samuel, like me, judged by outward appearances. God chose according to the inward character.
I thanked God. And asked Him to forgive me for passing judgment when I first saw the man emerge from his truck. God, after all, had sent me His best roadside assistance.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his [Eliab, oldest son of Jesse]appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1Samuel 16:7, NIV)
©2014 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.