(This post was written from Grass Valley, Oregon at mile marker 28 on Highway 97 where there is no public gas station between Biggs Junction on I-84 and Madras 94 miles away.)
Every week there are more incidents of people traveling our highway unprepared to go the distance. A few days before writing this I was stopped and asked if there was any gas around. After figuring out that his likelihood of making it to the next station was not very good I invited him home where I had a filled can waiting. Many of you have done the same as I learned this from others who have been helping people reach their destinations for years. Sometimes they were reimbursed by the traveler and sometimes not.
Whether they are leaving Madras or Biggs there is a sign saying no gas for 94 miles. The signs aren’t big, but they are there and prominently placed nonetheless. Yet every day people head either north of south driving past the warning signs intent solely on reaching their destination, assuming they will find what they need along the way when in reality they come up short.
My wife, Robin, commented on this and compared it to 1 Peter 3:15, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” (ESV). Just as we make the extra effort to have that extra full can sitting around, she expressed how we as believers in Christ should prepare ourselves not only with a few gallons of fuel but also with an answer as to why we give it so freely. In thinking about the opportunities that we have to rescue people and send them on their way, we are reminded that there is no greater gift than what Jesus has done to rescue us and give us new life.