Katie & Briscoe

Katie & Briscoe

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

God's Infinite Love, Mercy, and Protection....

I've been a "believer" in God my whole life. (Hopefully, everyone reading this understands that there is a great difference between "believing" and "knowing." Belief alone isn't enough. It takes a personal knowledge of Jesus, a faith and trust in who He is and what He did for every human in the world.) Salvation, for me, came in my teens, in no small part due to my love of music, which the Lord wisely used to draw me into church. I began singing in the youth choir, then also joined the adult choir (though I was still a teenager) for several special programs. I also sang with a music group put together by one of the piano players at our church. There was another small group that our church choir director decided to start, too. I was in my school chorus as well, but the vast majority of my singing was done at or through our church. Our youth choir director was also the youth pastor and the adult choir director. He was a great influence on us. I respected him tremendously. He was the most honest person I ever knew, other than my mother. That honesty wound up getting him fired from our church. It's a long story, but suffice it to say that was right about the time I found myself a different church.

God used my love of singing to pull me into the church and it was there, in between all the singing, while sitting under the teaching of our youth director that I learned a great deal about God. I learned who He was, what He was, what He'd done for me, and maybe even more helpful to a teenager, I had a first hand example of how a man and his family could live real and true lives for Christ. My youth director and his wife and children were such an inspiration to me. I believe he deserves direct credit for my coming to Christ.

I've said all this to get to a single song that touched me all those years ago. I think about it often, especially when I find myself aware of a "near miss" that could have caused me or someone I love pain or sorrow or even mere distress. This morning, Mark and I were up early, heading to Madison for my final dense dose chemo treatment. (Yes, I said FINAL. I'll talk about it later, as it certainly is a big event. But that's going to be another post.) It was that time in the morning when there's too much light for headlights to be helpful, and not enough light to make everything clear. There was a car coming toward us and I noticed a deer several yards off the side of the road. It was standing still, facing the road, but not moving. Just before the car reached us I suddenly realized that there was a second deer, right at the edge of the road. It was apparently about to cross the road. Anyone who lives around here knows that deer are quite prone to making rash decisions about the direction they will run. I've seen more than one decide to jump into the road right in front of an oncoming car. I hit one that did it to me a few years back. Anyway, this deer made the smart choice and ran away from the road. My first thought, however, was how bad it could have been if it hadn't.

If that deer had tried to cross the road, the car coming toward us would certainly have hit it. If they hit it, it could very easily have gotten thrown into us. These kinds of things happen all the time. It could so easily have been a very bad situation for everyone involved. We were traveling at highway speed, not speeding, but 55 is plenty fast enough to throw a full grown deer a pretty good distance. So, as I saw the deer running away from us, and we passed it and the other car with no trouble, I said a word of thanks to God and thought again of this song I've known since the earliest days of my salvation.

It is called Angels and was sung by Amy Grant. Here are the lyrics.
"Take this man to prison," the man heard Herod say
And then four squads of soldiers came and carried him away
Chained up between two watchmen, Peter tried to sleep
But beyond the walls an endless prayer was lifting for his keep
Then a light cut through the darkness of a lonely prison cell
And the chains that bound the man of God just opened up and fell
And running to his people before the break of day
There was only one thing on his mind, only one thing to say

[Chorus:]

Angels watching over me every move I make
Angels watching over me
Angels watching over me every step I take
Angels watching over me

God only knows the times my life was threatened just today

A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way
Near misses all around me, accidents unknown
Though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home
God, I know they're all around me all day and through the night
When the enemy is closing in I know sometimes they fight
To keep my feet from falling I'll never turn away
If you're asking what's protecting me then you're gonna hear me say

[Chorus 2x]

Angels watching over me
Angels watching over me
Angels watching over me
Angels watching over me
Though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home
It's the words of that second verse that get me. The times our lives are in danger that we never even know about or see. The times that we have been spared some tragedy or grief or pain because one of the angels that God sends to protect us stepped in and protected me or someone I love. Even when things HAVE happened that could or should have had devastating consequences, so many times I have been spared. (The cancer certainly comes to mind!) God loves and protects me every moment of every day.

A church friend and I sang this as a duet once. It had touched us both and we wanted to share its message. This was back in the 80's and the song is not something we hear on the radio these days. I still love it, though. It still carries such a wonderful message, such a strong reminder of how much God loves us.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. Psalms 91:11 (KJV)
I believe with all my heart that guardian angels are real, that God sends them to keep us safe from harm, and to even occasionally give us a nudge when we're headed in the wrong direction. This morning, it was a deer that was nudged away from harm. At the very least, God saved us and/or the driver in the other car from having to deal with having their vehicle damaged. Possibly, He saved us all from injury or even death. There's no way to know. But I do know He deserves to be thanked. to be praised for His care and protection. So thank You, Lord, for keeping us safe from harm. Thank You for loving us enough to give us angels to watch over us and keep us safe.

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