When I consider the title of this post, I think of some pivotal moment in time that changes the very future of events. The “chance meeting”, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, etc. And I think, in a small way, I experienced a “For Such a Time as This” event in Thailand recently. The story goes something like this…
So, there I was, eating dinner at a local restaurant in town with my family. (My youngest son had fallen and hit his head a few days beforehand. He had been complaining about a consistent headache over the course of those few days, so we had made plans to take him to the local clinic to have his head checked out. Since the clinic is only open in the evenings, we were getting a bite to eat beforehand.)
While waiting for our order to arrive, I decided to walk down the street to the clinic and sign in to get one of the first appointments when they opened. As I stood up to go out, I saw something outside that caught my attention. Through the large front restaurant windows, I saw a guy almost running with another guy closely following him in pursuit. The second guy (the one following) appeared to throw something at the first, and the first man fell to the ground. The second guy then went up to the first and kicked him forcefully in the side.
Seeing this I started to run outside, but then I turned to get the attention of the restaurant owner, a fellow missionary. I quickly told him, “Hey, there’s a guy getting beat up in front of your restaurant!” The restaurant owner is a pretty solidly built guy, and I thought I might need some backup… because I knew what I was going to do next.
Now… a quick glimpse into my thoughts at that moment. They went something like this. “Ok, I’m heading out to the clinic. Whoa, what is going on out there with those two guys!? It doesn’t look like something I want to be involved with! But, wait, the guy just kicked him… and he is totally defenseless. And it looks like the other guy is holding a something in his hand, standing over him. I’m not going to stand here while a guy gets murdered in front of me, in front of my family. God has me here to protect the helpless… and right now, this guy needs help.”
So out I rushed out onto the sidewalk. Not being sure what the best way to communicate in Thai would be, I went for English. “Hey!” I shouted to the man standing. He looked startled for a moment, but then he came toward me, his body literally shaking with anger and adrenaline. He began making threatening gestures and yelling at me in Thai. I just stood my ground and stared at him. He began looking around some and then started a hasty getaway. By this time, the guy on the ground had recovered enough to stand up. He tried to go after the guy who knocked him to the ground and kicked him, although in reality he could hardly walk straight. The second guy then took off down the street and rounded the corner, breaking into a run. The restaurant owner started chasing him but didn’t end up catching up with him.
The first guy staggered a few more feet to the restaurant next door. He had blood pouring down his face and a nasty wound on the side of his head. It looked like he could barely stand up. A few minutes later, the police and paramedics came. At this point the restaurant owner next door came out with a hose to casually wash the blood off of the sidewalk into the street gutter.
While all of this was happening, there were a good 20-30 people outside just watching – standing and sitting at various restaurants up and down the street. Plus, there were cars waiting at the red light on the street corner.
Out of all of these people, why me? Am I more brave, more daring than others? I don’t believe so. What I do believe is that God spoke quietly to my heart. “Son… look here. See what is happening.” And my response was “Not on my watch… because God, You’ve given me a calling, a purpose and I can rely on your power to carry it out.” I believe this is just one of the reasons I was sent to the Kingdom of Thailand, to possibly save a man’s life.
Why are you where you are? It might be to save a physical life… or perhaps a spiritual life. You have a purpose for where you are, your job, your neighborhood, your family, even the place you choose to go for dinner. Live every day looking out for opportunities to fulfill your God-given purpose, so that when the opportunity presents itself you can be there… “for such a time as this.”
“And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?” – Esther 4:14b (AMP)