I was driving east on 101st Street the other day when a car coming from the west made a left turn directly into my path. I barely had time to step on my breaks, but immediately anticipated the slide that would slam my automobile into the passenger side of the approaching vehicle. It took only a split second, but my mind raced faster than the speed of two cars combined. I imagined the force of the impact throwing me against the steering wheel, the air bags, the damage to the frontend of my car and to the other. The injuries of occupants of both vehicles. Calling 911. Did I have a charge in my phone? What would my granddaughter do when I didn’t show up at school?
It was only a split second. I was paralyzed with fear.
But the collision didn’t come. My wheels grabbed hold just in time and the car stopped—as if on a dime—and the offender raced on through the intersection as if nothing had happened. With the crisis averted, my heartbeat finally returned to normal and I began to think about the many times that God had stepped in and saved my life in the nick of time. Just like this one.
There was that time when I parked my car in the garage but failed to get the gear completely into Park. I got out with my groceries, and the car began to slowly back out of the garage. I threw down my bundles and raced after it. When the car hit the steep grade of the driveway, it began to pick up steam, with me frantically in pursuit. Just as I reached the window and was leaning in to throw the gearstick into Park, I heard my neighbor yelling from across the street: “Get out! Get OUT!”
I couldn’t run any faster. The car was getting away. I backed out of the window and let it go. One slip of the foot and the front wheels would have crushed me.
Another time, I was responsible for doing it to myself. Not on purpose. But many years ago I was a heavy smoker. I fell into bed every night with veins aching from the nicotine. I had no intention of ever quitting. But God had other plans. Suddenly and without warning, cigarettes began to nauseate me. I couldn’t stand the smell of smoke and even watching others smoke would make me feel sickish.
The simple truth is I had become a non-smoker overnight. And through no effort of my own.
There are many other occasions when my life was threatened through my own foolishness or sometimes happenchance. Usually I didn’t realize at the time how close I was to extinction, but God did. And He chose to intercede on my behalf.
How often we fail to recognize God’s intervention when it happens and give Him the praise! We write off our near-misses to luck or our own able efforts. It is so foolish of us to claim the credit. God promises to be with us and to protect us. He is all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere present. Is our faith so small that we fail to see when He comes to our rescue? Do we consider ourselves so unworthy that we refuse to believe that He took the time to save us from disaster?
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23
May we ever be diligent and see through our hearts what God is doing in our lives. May we always acknowledge His goodness and give Him the praise and the glory. Amen.