“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty……Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My Name. When he calls to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.” Psalm 91:1, 14-16
Two weeks ago, I was in the mountains of New York, being absolutely blown away by God’s transforming grace and the glory He revealed to me during the Lamplighter Guild!
I am still dizzy with the afterglow.
There is so much to share, floods of words I could write….still I wish to choose wisely what I say, that it might be more than mere words.
But today, before I attempt to begin unpacking the Guild, I simply want to testify to the stunning mercy of God’s protective hand on my life.
I had made plans to meet up with some new friends from the Guild….two siblings who came all the way from Australia and are taking several more weeks to tour the country before returning home. They were doing some sightseeing in the D.C. area last week, and since I am currently not far from there, we decided to get together for a day in the Capitol. After all, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of the chance to spend another day with a couple of Aussies? They are fun kids, not to mention that their accent is the coolest ever!
So Monday morning, I set out for the hour drive to the Metro station where we planned to meet and continue into the city. It was gorgeous….the sun came out, the music was up loud, a day of fun ahead….smooth sailing.
Except suddenly it wasn’t. Crazy how everything can change in an instant. One split second could change your life forever. It almost did mine.
I’m rolling along in one of those lower speed zones where everyone is doing about 20 over the limit. What do you do but go with the flow? It’s supposedly safer that way. There’s three, maybe four lanes….we’re getting closer to D.C. and traffic is fairly heavy. I’m in the second to the far left lane when my GPS announces I have two miles until my exit. So I coolly flip my signal and make for a pass to the right. And narrowly miss side swiping a car coming up on my right hand side. My mirrors are set a special way that is supposed to eradicate your blind spot. But in a busy traffic flow at that speed, when your mind is focused on where you need to be and you’re even the least bit careless, it’s still easy to miss what coming up on your flank.
A split second error. Instant reaction. Panic causes over-reaction.
I over-corrected my steering…..and lost control of the car. Suddenly I’m fish-tailing violently between three lanes! In that moment of terror, I can’t think how to pull out. I’m just reacting. Desperately trying to regain control before someone hits me. Cars swerving all around me. Hitting the brakes, trying to balance the wheels….and my car does a 180! I’m shuddering as I write this, almost reliving the moment. In that instant of all control completely lost, I was sure someone was going to smash into me at any moment, probably head-on! Instinctively I cried out, “Lord Jesus! Oh Lord Jesus, help me!”
It could have been all over for me at that second. Or my life could have been seriously altered. Funny how our brains operate under intense stress….in the back of my mind I was actually more worried about my car and what I would do if it was totaled….and about missing the day with my friends!
No, my life did not flash before my eyes. But I was expecting impact at any second. Yet my God heard my desperate cry before it even left my lips, and He literally delivered me from harm! He must have commanded a circle of angels all around my car. I am sliding to a stop in the left lane, facing INTO traffic….but not only have I not hit anyone in my wild rampage, no one has hit me….and the oncoming traffic manages to avoid me!
Now almost at a complete stop, I veered quickly onto the shoulder. There I sat, shaken but completely unscathed. Hardly daring to believe that just happened! If it hadn’t been so terrifying, it might have passed for some hard-core stunt driving in a movie scene! Just an off-note….I will not be signing up for police driving academy anytime soon. I think I’ll stick to writing the action scenes. Yeah.
After several moments of just breathing and gathering myself, I had to figure out how I was going to get turned around and back into traffic in one smooth move! And whether there were any breaks in the traffic long enough to attempt this. So I asked God to give me an opening. And when I saw the window of opportunity, I took it! Thankfully I didn’t have much further to go. I drove the rest of the way to the Metro station still trembling and thanking Jesus over and over. And then I went off and had a lovely day traipsing around D.C. with my friends! By the end of the day it felt like a distant memory….but you better believe I was nervous and more than a little paranoid on the drive home!
I tell this story so you can rejoice with me over the power and mercy of God. Rejoice and give Him the glory, because ultimately, all our lives are in His hands every moment, stupid split-second mistakes notwithstanding.
It is quite obvious to me that God is not finished with me here. I should not have driven away from that incident unharmed. He has prepared works for me to accomplish….some of which I may only be beginning to glimpse since the Lamplighter Guild and see that I am finally ready to walk in them. In His Sovereign wisdom, God preserved my life so that I can continue to step into what He created me to be and do, in order that He will receive glory! He can move heaven and earth to save those who call upon His name. He always, always hears His children when we cry out for deliverance. His ways are far above ours and so His answer will not always make sense to our finite minds. He does not always rescue as we hope or pray. The why of this is not for us to determine. Neither is it for us to focus on what almost happened and move into the future with dread of what could happen. We can rest in our God in this moment, thanking Him for His gifts lavished on us and most of all for His presence with us, holding us in the eternal now! If your spirit is alive in Him, you are safe from all real harm. There are things much more real than our physical world. Nothing can truly hurt us in God’s hands…..nothing.
And in the end, every little thing is going to be okay. Because our God, our Creator, our Redeemer…..because He holds it all together. And He holds us safe in Him.