I've experienced a few of those kinds of situations recently and they remind me over and over how God does care for us. I'm not saying that we are always protected from painful situations or the evil decisions of people who don't have Christ in their hearts. Sometimes things do happen, even to the children of God, because of the sin of the world. I'm not sure how God decides when to intervene in these situations and when not to. That's where trusting His wisdom must prevail.
The two stories I am sharing here, though, cannot be anything short of God's protection! Bad results should have and could have happened, especially with the first situation.
- Over Christmas vacation, we were down on the beaches of South Carolina. The weather wasn't hot, but much warmer than our snow-covered Indiana! Because of this, there weren't a lot of tourists walking along the shore, especially once the sun started to set. We felt pretty safe, since we were staying at a big oceanfront hotel and there were lots of employees and several guests staying there. It was the night before Christmas. We had spent the day on the beach, but our son wanted to go out after dark, just to see what we could find in animal life. *A few years back when visiting, we found white ghost crabs running into their little holes in the sand. So, off we went. It must have been around 10 p.m. Now, I must have felt some precaution was needed because on the way out of the hotel I asked if we should take some pepper spray/mace with us, as we usually had some with us in the car. But it just happened that we left it at home this particular time. We did have a flashlight, though. So, we decided we would just go a little ways down the beach and come back and we would be fine.Well, several yards down, we saw a few people, we thought either older teens or young men, standing on the beach, smoking some cigarettes. It was so dark out that, if it hadn't been for the glow of the cigarettes, we wouldn't have seem them at all. We walked by them without a word, my son, briefly shining the flashlight their direction. The tide was going out, so there was a small pool of water collecting between the shoreline and near the inner beach, where houses were. After walking about 5 minutes we decided to head back to the hotel, and were jumping across this pool, one at a time. My hubby was the last to cross and just as he did, out of the vast darkness, my son and I saw a figure coming up behind him, moving in quickly. The 'guy' was definitely following us, crossing right where we had crossed. My son whispered, 'Dad, there's a guy following behind you!' Once my hubby turned and saw him, his protective instinct kicked in, which probably was one thing that saved our lives. This guy, whom my hubby suspected was one of the guys we passed smoking, was obviously up to no good, and had followed us all the way down the beach. Instead of running, which probably would have put us in more danger, hubby walked right up to the guy, which I think threw him off, as he acted all flustered and nervous. He had his hand in his jacket, which looked like he might pull something out of it, but then stuck out his hand to shake hands with my hubby, and started saying that he just wanted to "wish us a Merry Christmas and everything was going to be o.k." In our best fearless voices we all said "thanks and wished him a Merry Christmas, too." He turned and walked back along the water's edge and we walked towards the houses, first slowly, then VERY quickly.
Later, back at the hotel, hubby said he had a gut feeling the 'stalker' was planning on robbing us. We weren't positive, but were thinking he was either drunk or high. The beach was so dark and the roar of the tide loud enough, that even if we had screamed for help, nobody probably would have heard us. My brave hubby said he was ready to take the guy down, if he pulled anything out of his jacket, but gladly that didn't happen. As I contemplated all that had just occurred, and our stupidity in going out on a dark beach in the first place, I knew that God had protected us from danger. Obviously, we don't know what the guy was planning on doing, but all-in-all, it was just an odd occurrence. Over and over again, I gave thanks to God for His protection, as did my son and hubby. It could have ended very differently!
- The second situation happened early just this morning. (This situation was very similar to one we experienced several years ago around Christmastime at our old farmhouse.)
The police never showed up, at least not down our road. Maybe, we thought, the cops pulled the guy over and arrested him. We never found out what he was doing, driving around our neighborhood so early in the morning. We were just thankful that the driver didn't try to break in our house, hopefully not anyone else's house either.It was a little bizarre, because, like I mentioned, we had a similar experience several years ago in a different home. At about 1 a.m., a suspicious driver came down our long lane on our little farm, drove in our yard, and got his car stuck. He kept spinning his tires, getting stuck deeper into he snow and mud. My hubby called the police, who came out, and talked to the driver. It ended up that he was drunk and got lost down our lane, drove into our yard, getting stuck. At least my hubby didn't attempt to be brave either of these two times, but called police, instead. When you are dealing with the unknown, it's best to call the authorities, even though this morning, we don't know if they came or not.
Ultimately, these experiences remind me that there is evil in this world, that danger lurks, no matter where you go, and that when we come out of a situation unscathed, it is God's protection that we know we have. I look forward to a day when there is no more danger, when we will be forever in the presence of our Lord and Savior! Until then, I am thankful for every day!
He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. 1 Samuel 2:9
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Psalm 31:20
You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue [that] shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. Isaiah 54:17But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
…For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5–6Linking over at these blog parties: