As we stopped for gas, I asked God for His help during the next four hours. “OK Lord, I need Your help. Will You please keep me awake and get us home safely because I’m really tired and four hours is a long time, especially in the dark. Thank you Jesus and I love You!”
This was my prayer as I continued the last requirement before college graduation – an internship in Atlanta.
I had driven two other girls and myself to our pre-internship meetings with our employers in Atlanta and we were now headed back to school.
It ended up being late at night before we were able to get on the road and we did indeed have a four hour drive ahead of us. We were all tired and I knew exactly what was going to happen – they were going to go straight to sleep and I would be left alone to carry out the responsibility of getting us all home safely.
As I wondered how I was going to manage this late night, multi- hour trip, I looked next door to the gas station and saw a wonderful sight – a doughnut shop! As a big anticipatory smile crossed my face, a delicious plan began formulating in my mind that just might remedy my concerns.
In keeping with my tasty plan, I walked over, went inside and asked for… wait for it…. chocolate doughnuts and a Diet Coke. All part of the plan! Since it was so late, there wasn’t much selection left but the clerk pulled down a tray of the only thing chocolate she had – doughnut holes. “This is all I’ve got left honey. One, two, three ….ten. Ten chocolate doughnut holes. Do you want them?” I said yes, watched her put them in a small bag, got my large Diet Coke, paid, thanked her and got back in the car with my two passengers.
It happened just as I had predicted. Twenty miles down the road and my companions were both sound asleep. Four hours to go and the radio was not doing a very good job of abating my sleepiness so I picked up the bag and began executing my plan.
As I pulled out each doughnut hole, I would think about something that corresponded to the number of that doughnut hole. For instance, doughnut hole number one. One – one God, then I thought about Him for a while and thanked Him for who He was while I chewed the first doughnut hole. I pulled the second doughnut hole out of the bag. Two – I have two brothers. I wonder what they are doing tonight and then thought about all the stuff we used to do as kids while I chewed doughnut hole number two.
Three – the three in One triune God. Chewing the third of my ten round morsels, I really pondered that thought for a long while. Our Lord is three in One – try and wrap your head around how complicated yet simple that is.
Four – Five – Six – I kept going and my plan was working quite well as the time and miles passed with me still alert and awake.
Seven – seven days a week. Chewing doughnut hole number seven, I thought about my schedule for each of the next seven days and got a little anxious about Thursday. Test day in Mass Communications – Ugh!
Eight… .eight……. hmmmmm………Eight maids of milking! And then I sang that whole song which took a while!
As I pulled out the tenth doughnut hole, I thought of the ten commandments and how awesome it was that our whole moral code was wrapped up these 10 things. And then I got really frustrated because I couldn’t say them in order and made a note to self to get them memorized in order.
Eleven – I sure am glad that my first class is not until 11 am tomorrow! These doughnut holes are pretty tasty!
Twelve – chewing number 12, I thought about the twelve disciples and then named them. After which I did a little personal car seat victory dance because I actually knew them all!
Thirteen – why is 13 an unlucky number? I’ll have to look that up.
Fourt…… Heyyyyyyyy!!! Wait a minute!!
I grabbed the sack I watched 10 doughnut holes go into, turned on the overhead light, looked inside and my mouth literally dropped open. Sitting there in the bottom of that bag were about 15 doughnut holes!
With my mouth hanging open, my heart beating faster and my brain trying to figure out what was going on, these words just appeared – “You asked Me to keep you awake, right?!”
This is crazy!!
I felt Him, I heard Him and knew it was God. And He was responding to my request!
AND, contrary to the King James version, He was speaking in modern English with a little humor poking through!
What just happened?! My mind was racing, my heart was beating fast like it does when you get an awesomely good surprise and I felt so … noticed. I was amazed, excited, blown away and I don’t think my gaping mouth closed for ten miles!
In that moment I realized something I had always known but never really experienced before – Jesus was real! He was literally right there – active and present and talking to me!! And I instantly knew something. You can’t personally experience the unexplainable and remain the same.
And since that day, I haven’t been.
Jesus wants a relationship with us – a real relationship where we actually talk and listen to each other! He’s not just God in heaven but is indeed Lord of heaven and earth. The earth where I live is where He came down to meet me that night, right there in the car driving down a long and boring interstate.
And to think, all it took was a bag of chocolate doughnut holes.