When James was confronted by his closest friend about his need to seek help for his drinking problem, he was ready to push back with all the force that he could muster. This is what James usually did, but this time he ended up just bowing his head and breaking down in tears.
What were the circumstances that led to this encounter with his friend, John? It was the fact that just a few days before, James was in a pretty bad car accident. It happened as he was driving home from a gathering of old college buddies. As usual, he was drinking too much. He was warned not to drive home, but he insisted that he was fine. Obviously he wasn’t. And it was a slippery night to complicate matters. At a particular bend in the winding road (which he took at way too high a speed) James lost control of the car, and it went over an embankment. Miraculously, he wasn’t seriously injured and was able to get out with just some bruises where the seat belt had grabbed him. But when he saw the condition of the car the next afternoon he realized that he was indeed a lucky man.
John was with him when they went to where the car was towed. This is what inspired John to have a serious conversation with his friend and tell him that he needed to do something about his drinking and driving. And there were other problems that had arisen from his drinking. Of course it was having its effect on his family and his friends.
The reason why James did not push back when confronted by John this last time was because he finally came to the realization that he did need help. As difficult as this conversation was, James was finally ready to listen. As the weeks and months went by, James began to see more and more that the circumstances surrounding his car accident were really a significant moment where God could impart a special grace.
When we are ready, God reveals a truth to us about ourselves, and about Him, that can change our life—or at least begin the process of transformation. Sometimes those circumstances can be difficult.
For whatever reason, Jesus felt that Peter, James and John were ready to receive a special grace. From the experience of seeing Jesus transfigured they learned something of the truth of who Jesus really was.
Jesus wants to bring us to a “place” where He can reveal to each of us the truth about ourselves so that real conversion can begin. The Lord wants to free us from our false selves and our illusions about who we are and where we stand with our God.
This season of Lent can be a great opportunity for us to allow the Lord to begin real conversion in our life. Maybe there are circumstances that are just right, and the Lord wants to impress upon us a special grace—a truth about himself, and a truth about ourselves that will begin to free us and move us toward real conversion and transformation.
Be open to the promptings of the Lord in your life….