A hit and run accident in a Paris taxi confirmed the prayer warrior and revealed the skeptic. Sadly, I was the skeptic.
Last month I spent two weeks in Moldova teaching a class at the Moldova Bible Seminary. (Watch for more about this experience.) My friend Lisa traveled with me. On our way home we had the fun blessing of spending two days and three nights in Paris to do some sightseeing.
After landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport and picking up our bags at the carousel, we bought our museum passes and bus tickets at the tourism desk. The nice lady there warned us to make sure we used only official Paris taxis and pointed us toward the taxi stand.
Our taxi driver – who did speak a little English – loaded our bags and we got settled into the back seat for the ride into the city. About 20 minutes later, as we cruised down the four-lane highway, we felt a jolt and heard that ugly metal on metal sound. Lisa began to pray fully trusting God would protect and provide.
With rush-hour traffic continuing to pour past us, we stopped and our driver rolled his window down to talk to the offending driver. They decided to get the cars off to the shoulder and talk again. We limped across four lanes of traffic only to discover the other driver had simply gone on his merry way.
Our driver got out to access the damage. Back right quarter panel – smashed. Right rear tire – busted. He returned to the driver’s seat and announced he had to get off the highway and change the tire. He would call us another taxi. I began to pray, worried that this little drama could be an elaborate ruse to rob two naïve American tourists.
We thumped off the closest exit and pulled over to the side. The driver opened the trunk and deposited our luggage on the sidewalk. Seriously less than a minute later, we spot another taxi coming at us down the street and Lisa waves it over. “How convenient,” I think. “Wow, God sure answered our prayers quickly,” Lisa declared.
We show the new driver the address of our hotel and he loads our luggage. With every turn on an unknown Paris street I’m praying “Lord, protect us.” Lisa is praying, “Lord thank you for providing this second taxi.”
Later Lisa and I compared notes on the event. She told me what she had been thinking and I told her what I had been thinking. I felt a bit spiritually weak for not trusting God more. Why couldn’t I simply believe and obey Philippians 4:6?
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6, NLT
I learned a good lesson that day. I really do need to trust God more. However, God’s faithfulness is also not a license to act foolishly. When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples out on their first mission trip He warned them:
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16, NLT
God is faithful and can be trusted. It’s also a dangerous world. I’m sure there are people in Paris who do rob American tourists. So here’s what I believe to be a biblical conclusion to the matter: Pray about everything and trust God like my friend Lisa, but keep my eyes open and don’t act foolishly.
Are you a prayer warrior or a prayer skeptic? I would love to hear about a time when God proved Himself faithful to you.