While on a business trip a month ago, I was picked up from the airport and brought to my hotel by a man named Reinhard. The journey was about an hour so there were some opportunities for Reinhard and me to talk.
After the basics were done (weather, where we are from, etc.) we found some new topics. For some reason, we were talking about dogs and Reinhard said “I believe dogs are designed to live outside”. The word “designed” is a faith-trigger word for me so I paused for a brief prayer “God, please give me the words”. Time to kick it up a notch.
I then said, “When you use the word design, do you believe there is a designer or do you believe that creatures such as dogs evolved?” His response was, “You mean, do I believe in God?” I confirmed that is what I meant so we had some good conversation about faith before the journey was completed.
We often contract with Reinhard’s company for ground transportation so it wasn’t a big surprise when he was my driver for another journey one month later. This time the conversation went a lot deeper. He asked me some tough questions about my faith, why I believe in Jesus and how it has impacted my life.
The conversation that happened next was not something I was prepared for.
Reinhard shared that he tried twice to kill himself about four years ago. He even went into detail about the method he used. He said after he didn’t die on the first attempt, he did more research and was 100% confident that the second attempt would end his life. It was surreal as he shared his thoughts as to being very surprised that he was still alive.
Reinhard said as a result of “not dying” he realized perhaps he is here for a greater purpose, and that started his faith journey. His faith is stronger than many people I know who have been Christians for 20+ years. He speaks simply yet his convictions are so strong. This verse from today’s reading is what brought the thought to write about this man:
Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Mark 10:15)
Reinhard’s faith is not childlike, it is in the way he received the kingdom of God with open arms, unhindered. He was at the end of his road, and then some seed planted, surely placed in his DNA by his designer, brought him to take a step forward in acknowledging and trusting God.
As I opened up to him regarding some of my life struggles, Reinhard was bold and wise, reminding me to put God first above all of it and to give the problems over to God. His words came to me at just the right time.
Reinhard and I are in regular communication and we are praying for each other. God has truly blessed both of us through this relationship and it is an honor to call him a friend and brother in Christ. While to Reinhard it seemed impossible that he would live through his suicide attempts, it is clear that God did and still does have a plan for him.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)
What is the “impossible” in your life today? Will you take the next step to trust him fully in this situation?
Will you also join me in praying for Reinhard? He has a big heart for the people of Ukraine and since the war, he has actually made two visits there to help!
Father God, we lift up your servant Reinhard. For safe travels as he drives, for opportunities to share his faith with others, for God to richly bless him and fill his heart with the true joy that comes only from you as our designer and creator. We praise you God for Reinhard’s heart for the people of Ukraine. Will you continue to give him the courage and resources to serve on this mission that you have planted in his heart? We pray these things in the name of Jesus, the name above all names!
Today’s reading: Genesis 26-27, Mark 10