God Wants to be the Hero
By Marc Perry (firstname.lastname@example.org) 2003
Everyone loves heroes. We admire them and look to them for help during our times of distress. If you ever watched “Batman,” you know that when Gotham needed him, the commissioner turned on the bat light, which lit up the sky and sent out a signal to the caped crusader. When Batman got the signal, he would jump in the Batmobile and speed off to defend the helpless and needy from the evil villains.
On a recent business trip, I read Wild at Heart by John Eldridge. I enjoyed the quality time with God and thought about my role as a man and child of the King. Something Eldridge wrote left an indelible impression on my heart: “God wants to be the hero.” What does this mean, I wondered. I soon found out.
On the day of my departure, I arrived at LaGuardia Airport three hours before my flight was scheduled to leave. It was beginning to snow; two hours later, snow covered the ground, and an attendant announced that my flight was cancelled. I arranged to take the next flight home and called my wife Pam to let her know I would be a day late. Because I only had $10 and no credit card, I told her I would spend the night at the airport. She advised me to try to catch another fight, find out if the airline would provide accommodations, or call somebody from the office. The airline would not pay for overnight arrangements because the flight was cancelled because of the weather. The office was closed, but I was able to reach Linda, the proprietor, by phone; she suggested that I stay close to the airport and offered to pay for my room.
On my way to find a listing of hotels, I spotted some friends from Detroit. Walter and Portia Lockett and two of their children were on their way home from an overnight trip to New York. They had participated in an interview with CNN about a trip to Peru that they had taken for a National Geographic program and were waiting for a driver to transport them to their hotel in Long Island. I shared my circumstances with them and called Pam, who laughed and talked with Portia about our “divine meeting.” They offered to let me share their accommodations, but I wanted to find out about nearby hotels before I accepted their invitation. Linda called to find out which hotel I had chosen. I told her that I was considering staying with some friends in Long Island, and she recommended that I locate a hotel nearby because of my early flight.
While I was looking at the board, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to stay with the Locketts. Then, a woman standing nearby announced that the all hotels near the airport were booked. My decision made, I got my bags and told the Locketts I was coming with them.
We all went outside, and when the driver saw us, he said he could only take four people. “It’s against the law for me to have more than four passengers,” he said. I told Portia and Walter I would take a cab and meet them at the hotel. They agreed, and Walter, who remembered that all I had was $10, gave me $50 for my cab fare.
I got in line with the other 75 people waiting for a cab. It was cold, and I was not dressed for it, but I waited patiently until it was my turn. By now, six inches of snow covered the ground.
I told the cab driver I wanted to go to Long Island, and he looked at me like I had asked him to do the impossible.(I had no idea how far Long Island was from the airport, but I soon learned that it takes 45 minutes to get there on a good day.) A transportation coordinator asked if I would mind sharing the cab; I said no, and she yelled, “Anybody want to go to Long Island?”
A young lady in her 30’s ran to the cab. She told the cab driver she was only 15 minutes from the airport and knew a short cut. Noticeably upset, the driver looked in his price book and announced that the ride would cost about $220.
We spent the next two hours talking about the weather, our families, and our careers. As we got close to her destination, she told me that she only had $100 and asked how much I would charge her. Although I needed the entire $100, I told her to pay whatever she felt was fair, and she gave me $90.
As we pulled away from her condominium, the cab driver told me how close he got to throwing her out of his cab because he didn’t like bossy people. We laughed, but inwardly, I was glad he hadn’t thrown her out.
Because we were getting close to the hotel, he suggested that we “settle up.” I agreed and asked how much I owed him. When he said $250, I was shocked—and worried. I was $100 short. I called Portia to confirm the location of the hotel and request an additional $100. She told me they had given me all the cash they had. I began praying immediately; I turned the situation over to God and promised to follow His lead.
When we arrived at the hotel, Portia was waiting out front. She walked over to the cab and handed me $100! I paid the cab driver and went inside the hotel, anxious to learn what had happened.
After she had spoken to me on the phone, Portia tried to get cash from an ATM machine, but was unsuccessful. Distraught, she began pacing in lobby of the hotel, trying to figure out what we were going to do. A man walked up to her and asked her what was wrong. She told him her brother would be arriving at the hotel any minute, but did not have enough money for cab fare. He asked how much we needed. When she told him $100, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a hundred-dollar bill, and gave it to her.
And that’s when it hit me: “God wants to be the hero.” When we have trials, tribulations, or troubles, or when we feel disillusioned, defeated, or discouraged, we must lean on the Lord. The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and He will direct thy path” (Proverbs 3:5). When we give Him control and truly trust Him to provide our every need, He will always deliver. All we have to do is surrender and submit. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:6-8).
The next time you are in need—of strength, patience, love, direction, hope, or something else—“humble [yourself] and pray” (II Chronicles 7:14). Your request will light up heaven like a beacon and send a “signal” to the Divine Defender, and He will come to your rescue.