Do you ever stop and wonder what the Lord has spared you from facing or what things He prevented or protected you from? Have you ever wondered about ‘near misses’ or things that would have happened had God not intervened on your behalf?
I’ve been thinking about these sorts of things again today as I reflect on an incident that happened yesterday. I’d changed the sheets and bedding and was just finishing tucking in the quilt when something caught on my shoe. Looking down to see what it was, I could find nothing and so I got down to smooth my hand over the carpet to feel for whatever it was that had caught on my shoe. Much to my surprise (and amazement, really!), there on the carpet was a needle. I marveled… here I had been sick in bed for days, many times a day up to the bathroom or out to the kitchen and back to bed again, day after day. And, day after day that needle had to have been right there — right there were I stepped down over and over again — but, obviously, I never stepped on it.
Now, if you know me, you’d know that this is one of the things I am nearly psycho over: needles. Sewing needles, that is. I’m generally meticulously careful to keep them put away, and everyone in my family hears this line when anyone is sewing: Have you ever heard about the times when I was a little girl? They glaze over and nod, mmm hmmm — probably thankful I don’t repeat the whole tale. But they know it.
For when I was a little girl, we’d just moved into a new home and as I was putting things away in my new bedroom closet, I felt the stick of a needle in my foot. Shocked, I went to tell my mother that I thought I’d just stepped on a needle! Thus, a trip to the hospital where an x-ray revealed that, indeed, I’d stepped on that needle and it had broken in my foot and needed to be surgically removed. Obviously not too traumatized by the incident, I continued to go barefoot — it was Southern California, after all.
Well, just a couple of weeks later, while visiting my father in a nearby city and after being there a just a few days, I again stepped on a needle — in the other foot. I didn’t know it at the time and would later learn that he couldn’t handle and/or was very dramatic about anything having to do with pain or blood or crying. I was taken to the hospital to, again, have a needle surgically removed from my foot. Interestingly, what I really recall from that was that the needle insertion for the anesthetic was more painful than stepping on and breaking that needle in my foot. And, the ride home included ice cream and the next day for a preplanned trip to Disneyland, I had to ride in a wheelchair and be carried onto each of the rides.
So the point is that that needle had been right there beside our bed for some time… a week? two weeks? longer? And the Lord had protected me from what has been a lifetime concern. I took time to acknowledge that yesterday when it happened and have many times since… just thanking the Lord for His watchcare over me, for His mercy and kindness and for saving me from and protecting me from things I’ll never know. And today I’ve continued to think on different things that He’s spared me from, different “near misses” from accidents, to missteps, to consequences for foolish actions and on and on.
Last night as I went upstairs to the different beds to say goodnight to the children (I know… they’re mostly all grown now, but since they’re still home I try to be there to tell them goodnight). As I walked around the girl’s bedroom where they were all ready for sleep, I said to them how grateful to God I am for giving them such a safe and peaceful room, such a pleasant place to rest — that He has been guarding and guiding them.
And as I returned to our room, the thought washed over me that God has done this for all of us. Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, wherever we go… He’s already there – already watching over us. He’s already gone before us and whatever happens has first sifted through His capable Hands and has already been part of His providential plan for us.
Maybe you can think of different times where you know that God clearly intervened on your behalf and spared you or provided for you providentially such that you know that you know that only He could have done that… that He alone is the Lord.