The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Psalm 28:7.
One of my favorite films from when my children were little is the 1996 version of 101 Dalmations. In the scene where Dalmation owners Roger and Anita meet, she ends up plunging in a dirty pond on her bicycle. Roger brings her back to his apartment to warm up in front of a crackling fire and hot pot of tea. "You give a very good rescue," she tells him.
Disney sentimentality aside, I love to read the stories of the many different ways God protects and rescues His people. At Kingdom Bloggers this past week, the writers have given personal experiences of God’s miraculous protection, in car accidents, from people bent on causing harm, from our own potentially bad choices. We all know that difficulty comes to all of us at some point; there is no escaping the inevitability of our own deaths, for example, or those of loved ones. Seeing the miraculous happen to others, but not in our own lives, can cause us to question God’s goodness.
But I believe many of God’s rescues go unseen or unrecognized. And if we ask God, am I left out of the miraculous, given all that I have been through, his answer is a resounding NO!
As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
If we just look around us, we may see God’s instruments for our protection: a parent who sacrificed, a sibling who provided comfort or guidance when adults failed to do so, a friend who loved you enough to warn you about poor choices, and the lessons He teaches us through our trials to help us protect ourselves and our loved ones in the future from repeating the same mistakes.
When I was a child, I burned my hand badly on the stove. That afternoon, as I lay on the couch in pain, nursing my wound, my father’s cousin Ralph “happened” to stop by. He prayed over my hand. That must have been an unusual happening in our home, because I never forgot that he prayed, even though I don’t remember if my hand felt better afterward. Not until much later in my life did I realize that Ralph had been praying for our family for years.
Who knows what protection arrived because of those prayers? I stupidly drove home one night as a teenager after a party--not a big drinker, even two was too many for me. But somehow I made it without hurting anyone or myself. When my son was one-year old, he fell down the stairs in his walker because I hadn’t put up the safety gate. He was scared, but fine. I was scared of my own momentary carelessness and in awe of God’s hand of protection.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:1.
The greatest answer to Ralph’s prayers was that our family experienced transformation through God’s grace and love time and again. I know God sends his angels to help us (when my son fell), but He also uses people to help “rescue” other people (such as Ralph). I am so grateful for the wise voices who gave me good counsel or held me accountable or came through in a pinch when I needed a rescue! God is good!
Dalmation: Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Japanese woman praying after the tsunami: Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images