Proverbs 16:9 (ISV) A person plans his way,but the Lord directs his steps.
The other day I received a phone call that reminded me how much the Lord protects us and keep us safe. After I hung up I was amazed to see the unseen protection I had in my life. Our pastor says that Gods is strategically moving in our lives 1000 time a day and if we pay attention we might see and understand one or two of those moves. How right he is, God’s unseen hand puts us on the path to meet strategic individuals, being at the “right place” or the “right time” to change the direction we were going. Some of these strategic moves are subtle and with hindsight we see the movements and understand, thankful for His intervening hand. Some movements we don’t see and never will, but some are breathtakingly, life saving, hallelujah moments where we know exactly that God has done something so amazing that everyone around can’t ignore His presence in our lives. That’s the story I want to tell you today.
I first heard this story from my Aunt Edie when I was a teen anger. She started it with, “Did you ever hear the story of how staying for a drink saved your dad’s life?” Talk about grabbing a girl’s attention! No, no I had never heard this story and looked to my dad to see what he had to say. He smiled shrugged his shoulders and joined us on the sofa to share this amazing fingerprint moment.
When my dad was stationed in Vietnam he was at Cam Ranh bay. He and a buddy had stopped by one of the local watering holes to have a drink and get something to eat. They were inside and the snack bar was about 100 feet or so away from where they were sitting. Dad said they had stood up to pay for their drinks when the waitress came to their table with two more. The two guys looked at each other and sat down to have one more drink. (I mean hey they were already poured and it would have been wasting a perfectly good drink.) As the men sat down and took a sip of their drinks a 122mm rocket hit the snack bar. The impact threw my dad and his friend to the ground, the ringing in their ears must have been crippling. In the midst of the chaos that occurred, the men helped the injured and pulled people from the rubble. The jeep, they would have been in at this time, had the windows blown out and shrapnel was embedded into both the driver and passenger’s seats.
Sadly 5 were killed and 14 were injured, but my father and his friend were saved- by staying for that drink. Talk about a moment where God has touched his life, a moment that let me and my brother be raised by this Godly man.
Close calls happen to us every day, some we’re aware of, others we will never find out about but we know that the hand of our Lord is on us, and protects us.
Lord thank you for strategically moving in our lives and directing our path. Even though we may never see each detail You have done. Thank you for showing us a few and reminding us You have Your hand on our lives.
You help them stay calm when trouble comes. (Psalms 94:19)
I love listening to my grandma tell stories from her youth. She, much like my own adorable offspring, had been lucky enough to have her grandmother be apart of her daily life. Her name was Lulu Bell (isn’t that a great southern name) and she lived a good part of her life on a farm in Nebraska. My grandma would tell me stories about how Lula Bell came across the Great Plains on a covered wagon and met a kind man who loved her so much that he promised to marry her on her 16th birthday, taking her away from the indentured servitude she was living in. ( talk about romantic) I enjoy all the stories about her, but this one in particular has always made me stop and think about thestock, or lineage, I came am from.
The story goes that it was a nice summer evening in Nebraska and Grandma Lula Bell was sitting on her back porch stringing beans with a dish towel on her lap. She sat there talking with the others around her snapping the beans one at a time. Grandma says that she calmly called over to one of the men outside and said “pass me that (hula) hoe” it was leaning against the back of the house. As they handed it to her she kept on with her story she had been telling, never pausing. As she dropped the beans into a bowl a rattle snake slithered out from under the stoop she was sitting on. In that same moment she brought the hula hoe down onto the head of the snake killing it to the surprise of all those around her. Grandma Lula Bell shook out the towel that was on her lap and then finished her conversation.
One of the things I love about this story is the fact that she was calm under pressure. The dictionary defines calm as, “not agitated; without losing self-possession” and that she was- with a snake under her and all. Grandma Lula Bell was asked if she knew the snake was under her feet and she said “of course I knew, that’s why I asked for the (hula) hoe.” What an amazing lady! She was not frighten, made sure she had a weapon at hand and she waited till just the right moment to strike.
What a great analogy for the problems in our lives. How many times have we needed to stay calm under pressure, not only of your own sake but for those around us? The picture of that snake curled up under her reminds me that there is an enemy who is waiting to bring discord, harm and destroy the good things God has made. Yet God reminds us in Luke that He has given us the authority to trample on those snakes and overcome all the powers of the enemy. God has given us the tools we just need to uses them. You come from strong stock, you have it in you.
Heavenly Father I ask for calm when trouble comes, so many times I ask You to stop the trouble and remove it from my life, but remind me to stay calm and reach for my sword of truth and chop the head off that snake.
Trust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
I was thinking today of a time when our family went on our first of many great adventures. The kids were around 4 and 6 years old and the excitement and anticipation were high. We were going to Disney World!! I had spent weeks buying cute clothing, finding games to occupy the kids for the long journey and by the time we reached the airport I NEEDED a vacation. Boarding the plane Christopher asked to see the pilot. To tell the truth I just wanted to put all our bags down and slip into the seat, but looking into those big blues eyes my kids have, I knew we were going to see the pilot- something that you could do back then. The pilot showed Christopher and Katie the knobs and lights that helped keep the plane in the air. When the flood of Christopher’s questions were answered, we headed for our seat. Christopher looked up at us with a big grin and said, “OK, now that I know who is flying the plane we can get going.” He needed to know the person who was flying the plane personally, we were headed off to a wonderful place but Christopher need to meet the man who was going to get us there. Remember having a personal relationship with the One who is in charge of our life is what gives us piece.
Lord knowing that You are in charge of where I am going reminds me that the destination is beyond my wildest dreams