Saturday, February 16, 2008

God's protection


It was early the morning of August 20, 1986. We lived in Edmond, Oklahoma at the time. That morning I thought I would run by the post office on my way to work and mail some bills, but as I drove into the post office parking lot and began to look for a parking spot I noticed something very strange....policemen....a lot of them....dressed in bulletproof vests, hiding behind cars with their guns drawn. Their focus was on the post office, and so they barely noticed me, but I noticed them! It was a very surreal moment as I watched them work their way towards the post office with their guns ready.
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In a moment I came to my senses....this probably is not a good day to mail bills...I'll mail them tomorrow, and so off I drive to the office only to hear on the radio during my commute that a gunman was inside that post office at the moment I sat in the parking lot, a postal employee who had "lost it," and one who would, by the end of the day, take the lives of 15 people including his own.
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I have thought back on that day many times in the years since. I didn't feel that I was in danger at the time because I really didn't know what was going on. I wonder....how many times I have been protected by the Lord from dangers I was completely unaware of? How many "near death" experiences do we each have that we may never know about? How often are our lives protected by God's wonderful plan and grace? As I think about that day in my life I reflect on an amazing chapter in the bible. A chapter that talks more about God than it does about us, but we are the recipients of who he is by what he does, and so in light of my morning at the post office let me direct your attention to a wonderful passage from the book of Psalms,
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Psa 91- You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow, Say this: "GOD, you're my refuge. I trust in you and I'm safe!" That's right--he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you-- under them you're perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing--not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day, Not disease that prowls through the darkness, not disaster that erupts at high noon. Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you. You'll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses. Yes, because GOD's your refuge, the High God your very own home, Evil can't get close to you, harm can't get through the door. He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go. If you stumble, they'll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling. You'll walk unharmed among lions and snakes, and kick young lions and serpents from the path. "If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says GOD, "I'll get you out of any trouble. I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times; I'll rescue you, then throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!"

1 comment:

lu said...

That just gave me chills. I often think of stories like that when I hear of people who did or did not get on one of the 9/11 planes (I have a pilot friend that has an amazing story).

I believe God has His hand of protection on us WAY MORE than we think about it. I have told a number of people I believe God protected me during my very foolish times before I knew Him, thereby allowing me to use those foolish times to show how He can truly change a person and use those foolish experiences for His glory.

But, the other side of the coin needs to be pointed out. Clearly, the people inside the post office were not "outside" of God's protection. However, for some reason, He decided that day would be the day their lives on Earth would end. He uses all things for His glory -- even the bad stuff He allows to happen that is outside our understanding.