Brother Dave Wilkerson used to tell one of the most fantastic stories. It was about this 82-year-old woman who was living by herself in one of the New York boroughs. One night, she heard someone start hammering on the front door.
Her bedroom was at the top of the stairs; she looked down and saw a man kick open her door. What do you do? You’re 82 years old; this man’s about to steal everything you have. She just started crying out, “Acts 2:38, Acts 2:38, Acts 2:38.” The man froze then got down on the floor, spread his arms and stayed there until she called the police, and the police came and arrested him.
Now get this, the verse just says to repent and believe in Jesus. This guy was laying on the ground because the 82-year-old woman kept saying, “Acts 2:38, Acts 2:38.” Here’s what’s great: Brother Dave said the cops started laughing, and they asked the guy, “This is an 82-year-old woman. Why did you wait for us to come?”
He told them, “Listen, if you knew a lady had an ax and two 38s, you would have waited too.”
Here’s the promise that Jesus gave to his disciples, “When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour” (Matthew 10:19, ESV). When people come into your life to antagonize you, and you’re thinking, “I’m being written up at my job, written up at my campus because I said something about Jesus. What do I say?“ Jesus says, “Don’t worry because there’s going to be stuff that you say that you didn’t even plan on saying, and it’s going to be the exact words that you need in this situation.”
That’s why I think the old song “Amazing Grace” from John Newton really does mean something when it says, “Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; ’tis Grace that brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me. His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.”
God knows exactly what we’ll need and when we’ll need it. He is our shield and life-sustaining portion.