KNOCK, KNOCK IT’S GOD’S CALLING!
by Dr. Rick McGrath, Ph.D.
It’s amazing as I look back over my life and see the grace, glory and yes humor
sometimes God uses to call us into the light. Getting older now as I am, I appreciate all
that God has shown me and allowed me to witness the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly.
God has used all three in my life for my betterment. Most of all, I have learned that when
God comes knocking, he will find a way to get the door open.
Remembering back in the day when I use to work at McDonnell Douglas in
Huntington Beach in Southern California, I lived some 45 miles away in Riverside. We
use to try and car pool in as much as we could back then. Though the price of gas was so
much cheaper than today, it still felt expensive when you’re making seven dollars per
I had participated in several car pools throughout my seven year employment
there. One car pool group stands out in particular. We had a car pool of all Christians so
we were able to share the Lord’s word and had church in common with each other. It was
common practice for us before we left to drive to McDonnell Douglas as well as when it
was time to drive home to pray for protection before hitting the road.
One day one of our fellow riders changed shifts and we needed a replacement so
we posted on the company board for a new rider. A gentleman name Ron responded to
our posting. He called us asking some details and said he would be interested in riding
with us. We each took turns driving for a week at a time. Each driver would foot the
expense for gas during his turn. We told him our meeting place and we asked that he be
The next day and on time, Ron showed up. We all introduced our selves and loaded up for the commute. As usual we started off with the morning prayer asking God
to bless us, and protect us. We also thanked him for bringing Ron to us so quickly. Well
let me tell you. Ron turned white. I asked him, “Ron what’s the matter?”
“I don’t know about all this. I’m an atheist and I don’t believe in God. To me,
God is a crutch,” he told me.
“That’s ok Ron. We won’t hold that against you. Besides by the time you’re done
riding with us we believe you will be a believer,” I told him.
“Fat chance! That’ll never happen,” he said. “My wife and I want nothing to do
with God for any reason. There is no God,” he insisted.
“As you say Ron. I’m going to start praying for you anyway. In the meantime,
let’s just enjoy each other and our ride to work and back. We won’t push anything on
you.,” I responded.
Several months went by and on the way in one day, we passed a shopping strip
that had a “Just Opened” banner on it. It was a bible school. Being an on fire, bible
wheeling fool for Jesus, I got very excited. I wanted to take my journey with the Lord to
the next level. On the way back home, the car pool allowed me to stop in and get some
information about their programs.
The class room was nicely set up. Lots of Christian material and bibles on nice
wooden bookcases. Everything you need to get the academic experience expected. The
tuition was a little high but they did offer a payment plan. I was on cloud nine. All I had
to do was go home and convince my wife to allow me to pursue my calling to serve God
and become a preacher.
I got back in the car and told my three passengers what the instructors said inside. I told them that I really wanted to participate in the program even though it was going to
stretch my families monthly budget. Before leaving the parking lot, I told them I wanted
to pray before we left. I asked God to bless my enthusiasm and provide me with the
finances I needed to afford my desire to learn more of his word. I also asked that if it not
be his will and if these folks were just hustling and giving out meaningless diplomas I ask
God to shut them down and take them away. I asked that he show his hand and protect
me from financial harm.
Once I was done praying, Ron started to laugh. So I asked him, “What are you
laughing about Ron?”
“ You actually believe all the crap?” he asked.
“Of course! And Ron, I’m still praying for you,” I told him. My other two riders
As soon a I got home I told my wife of my afternoon and how I am hoping to start
bible college. It would be after work 3 evenings per week. Class was to start at 5PM and
last 2 hours per session. Of course this would mean I would have to forgo the car pool
and bare the additional expense for gas. I told her I felt it was important to me and I was
serious about pursuing higher education. She told me if I felt that if God was calling me
to do that she would stand behind me. Again, we prayed as husband and wife that God
would open the door or close it so tight I couldn’t open it no matter how hard I tried.
The next morning rolled around and I was more excited than ever before. I
couldn’t wait to pick up the carpool riders and get to the school first thing to sign up.
That’s all I talked about all the way in. Ron continued to laugh and laugh. I think he
laughed all the way in.
Finally we arrived! We drove up into the parking lot and stopped. We looked up
and the bible college was gone! All we could do is sit there with eyes bulging and mouths
literally opened. The classroom was completely empty as if it was never there. No desks,
no books, no bookshelves. Everything gone! All I could do is look at Ron and say, “Well
non believer! What do you have to say now?”
Ron didn’t say anything. Neither did anyone else. There was total silence the rest
of the ride to work. I kept asking myself over and over again. “What the heck just
happened?” “How could something that just opened be gone overnight?” Was that
something that was even possible?”
All day long at work I was stunned. I had a hard time focusing on my job. I kept
wondering what my wife was going to think when I told her. What was anyone going to
think that I told? At the end of the day, after saying our afternoon prayer for safety going
home and thanking God for doing whatever it was that he did to protect me, all we did
was talk about how strange it was that I prayed for it to be gone and then it was. Poor
Ron kept saying, “ I just can’t believe it, I just can’t believe it,” all the way home.
Disappointed, I told my wife what happened after I got home. She encouraged me
to keep going and that there will be a right time and place for me to pursue higher
education. I agreed with her and continued to study at home.
In the morning as always, I meet everyone at the parking lot where we have been
meeting for months. This time though, something was different. Ron was running a few
minutes late so we waited an extra ten minutes. Right as we were about to leave he came
rushing up in the parking lot beeping his little Volkswagen horn. Ron parked the car and
when he came running over to the car we were shocked. We thought the closing of the
bible school stunned us, it didn’t compare to what we were looking at. Ron was carrying
“What!?” I said to Ron.
“Let me get in the car. I’m sorry for running late!, he apologized.
“Ok! Ok!” he exclaimed. “After seeing what happened yesterday, when I got
home I told my wife what happened. We talked about it and we realize it was our dumb
pride that was keeping us from turning our lives over to the Lord. I figure I need to get
saved if I’m going to go to heaven. Yesterday was proof enough for me,” he stated.
“If you could show me how to get saved I would be grateful. I see you guys
carrying your bible everyday so I dug mine out of the box from closet and brought it with
me, he told us.
God has some very interesting ways. When he knocks, doors open. Looking back
on that experience I realized that what God did wasn’t just for me. It was more about
proving to Ron that he is who he says he is. That day he made a believer out of the four
SOMETIMES GOD WILL TELL ON YOU!
Sometimes God will tell on you! It’s just the way it is sometimes. You may try to
hide what you’re doing but oh no! God brings it into the light.
I remember when my oldest daughter was in the seventh grade. Usually one that
would think through things before doing something foolish. It was a school day and like
any other day, we expected her to return home by 3 P.M. Day in and day out she always
came through the door right on time.
Today it was different, 3:15, 3:30, 3:45 came and went. It doesn’t take long before
worry sets in. We had already lost a son who had died of a deformed heart when he was
about 6 months old. Once you experience the loss of a child, a bump on their head turns
scary. I told my wife I was going to drive over to the school and see if maybe she was
forced to stay after for some reason.
I jumped into my car and quickly drove over to the Catholic school a few blocks
away. I went into the office to see if my daughter was being held after with no luck. I was
informed that parents would be called if the child was going to have to spend time in
detention. Now I was really worried. What happened to my little girl? Panic set in! Did
she get kidnapped or worse?
After our son died, I had gone through a religious transformation as some people
call it. I didn’t know what to call it, but religious wouldn’t have been the word I would
have used. Being raised as a Catholic, in my opinion what I experienced was something
far different than how most Catholics could explain it. I guess when you don’t know
what to call it, it’s religious. Later I came to know it as “ A Born Again” experience.
Yes! That’s what happened. I was born again in and through the Spirit of God! He
touched my life and now I had a real relationship with him.
Panicked, I drove home hoping she was there by now. I ran into the house asking
my wife if our daughter made it home yet. She told me no. Now both of us were
worried. My wife suggested we stop and get down on our knees and ask for God’s
protection and direction. We did exactly as she suggested.
“Lord, please hear our prayer. Send your angels to place a hedge of protection
around our daughter. Give me the insight and direction in which to look for her. You
know our hearts Lord. We love you and we need you. We trust you and know that you
will provide a solution for us. We thank you in the name of Jesus. Amen!”
I told my wife that I couldn’t just sit and wait. I needed to get in the car and at
least drive around looking to see if I see anything.
She asked me, “How will you find her? You don’t know where she is or even
which direction to drive.”
“I know! But I can’t just sit here. I have to know I’m looking,” I said back to her.
I kissed her and asked that she keep praying while I was out.
We didn’t have cell phones back in those days so even if our daughter showed up,
my wife wouldn’t have been able to let me know. I got back into the car and began
driving. It was around 4:30 P.M. As I was heading down the street I began feeling some
kind of strange quite voice in my head suggesting I go this way, then that way. As I got
about two miles down the road the voice nudge me again.
“Stop the car,“ I heard it say. Thinking to myself but there’s nothing out here. A
field of several acres and a river that wound through it with trees lining the river’s edge.
Not really understanding what was going on but also trusting God to lead me as I
asked in my prayer, what did I have to lose. At least I would feel like I was looking. I
pulled over and began to walk in the direction that I felt I was being pointed in. It took
me about ten minutes to get to the river. I looked around and there was nothing there that
didn’t belong there. The voice spoke again leading me to my left. I walked almost one
mile and when I looked up I saw two girls sitting on a large log at the river’s edge.
All kinds of emotions went through me. Both good and not so good. First I
experienced relief that my daughter was safe, then I felt what most dad’s would probably
feel. “Wait until I get the girl home! Boy is she going to get it!” At first I went unnoticed
by the two girls. As I got almost up to them, they looked up. The shock and surprise on
their faces was priceless!
“How did you find us?” my daughter asked. Knowing it was really off the beaten
path they couldn’t understand how I could find them.
“Well,” I said. “Sometimes God tells on you! You know we have a close
relationship with the Lord. I asked him to lead me to you and here I am,” I told her.
“I suggest you both get up and let me get you home. And you young lady, you have some
explaining to do!”
Ever since then, I have experience this same prompting on several occasions. My
oldest keeps reminding her younger siblings there is no use. Dad will talk to God and he
will tell on you. Dad will find you! And I always have!
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
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