Saved on I-88

October 21, 2001

SAVED ON I-88 by Ray Pritchard I don’t know all the details of her story, but I do know that she was raised in the South and her family moved around quite a bit. When I asked about her spiritual background, she surprised me by saying, “None.” She’s the only person I’ve ever met from the South who didn’t have a religious background of some kind or other. She did, however, have a friend from the neighborhood who, when they both were about ten years old, used to tell her that she was going to burn in hell if she didn’t believe in Jesus. Years later her budding career took her from one city to another until eventually she landed in Chicago a few years ago. At some point along the way she began reading the Bible, or to put it more precisely, she tried reading the Bible but it made no sense to her. She just didn’t get it. She would read and read but nothing clicked inside. Then the moment of truth came. One day she was driving home on Interstate 88 when “it” happened. What happened? “The Lord saved me.” Just like that? “Just like that.” How did it happen? “It was as if the Lord said, ‘Today is your day.’ And just like that, my eyes were opened, my heart cried out to God, and I was truly saved.” In one amazing moment of spiritual revelation, she saw her need, realized that God loved her, that Jesus died for her, and that she desperately need Christ in her life. As she put it, it happened on I-88. “It sounds like country song: ‘I got saved on I-88.’” I think Garth Brooks or Faith Hill could do something with that. When she got home, she began to read the Bible and now it made sense to her. Things that seemed obscure suddenly came alive as God’s Word took root in her heart. Since she lived in Oak Park, she wanted a church that would help her grow in her new-found faith. She saw Calvary, checked us out on the Internet, and decided to pay us a visit. It happened that I was preaching on Saul’s miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus (Galatians 1:11-24). As she put it, “Pastor Ray, you were really wound up that day.” At one point, I turned to where she sitting, not knowing who she was, pointed in her direction, and said, “Have you ever been converted?” “I wanted to stand up and say, ‘Yes! Yes, I’ve been converted.’” She was smiling as she told me her story. And I was reminded again that salvation is a work of God from first to last. Be encouraged. The Lord can save anyone, anytime, anywhere, even during rush hour on I-88.

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