Extol the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy. (Psalms 99:9 NRSV)

Richard Speight was on a plane and took out a Bible to began working on a Sunday School lesson. This caught the attention of the man sitting next to him. However, Richard didn't want to engage in conversation. He had work to do. Then he noticed the man had a Bible of his own and decided to talk with him. The man was a new Christian who had a powerful story to tell.

Things had gone from bad to worse and then to unbearable, the stranger said of his life. At first it was a single drink to be sociable, then it was two, then several. Before long, there was a bottle in the desk drawer to make the long afternoons more bearable. "You wouldn't believe how much booze I could put down in a single day," he told his seatmate. "I would start with a juice glass full in the morning." Then he began to tell of his business going nowhere. He spent a lot of time trying to make his new business successful. Eventually his wife and children, in tears, left him. "All I wanted was my friend, the bottle," he said.

A business trip took him out of state one day. "I was drunk, driving a rental car," he said. I pulled up to an intersection. The cross street I was facing was a main highway." he remembered. He thought he had stopped, but in his drunken state he rolled through the busy intersection and was hit broadside by a truck. "I was thrown out of that car with terrific force. My body skidded along the pavement; all of my clothes were torn off. I was bloody, raw, and battered, but I was alive."

He continued his moving story. "The next thing I remember was two medics standing over me." They thought he was dead and so did a policeman. "I watched him as he felt my pulse and listened for my heartbeat. He said I was dead, too." But they decided to take him to the hospital. He could not make a sound. "I prayed and prayed the whole time. I promised God that if He would help me get their attention, if He would help me get out of this, I would never touch another drop of alcohol again, and I would be His servant forever."

"The next thing I remember is sitting on a gurney in the emergency room, talking to the doctor. The medics and the policeman were still there. They were absolutely astounded!" He was not seriously injured. After he was cleaned up, he was released. He decided to get some rest, so he checked into a local motel. He bought a six pack of beer, opened a can and laid down in bed. Flipping through the channels, he encountered Billy Graham leading a crusade. "He was looking right at me, pointing a finger," the man recalled. "You have made promises to God today," Dr. Graham said, "that you haven't kept." This hit home. "I buried my head in my hands," he recalled, "and leaned over, almost touching the ground with my face. I had admitted my weakness to myself for the very first time."

In this time of struggle he discovered answers in the Bible. "The Holy Spirit came into my body and into my life," he said. The Spirit gave him the strength "to open those beer cans, one by one, and pour that beer out. That's the hardest thing a drunk can do," he testified, "I couldn't. The Holy Spirit did it for me."

What ever mountain we face God's Holy Spirit can help us!

God of all, help me climb my mountain. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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