Wednesday, February 1, 2012

God Is Better Than The Secret Service

I am an avid reader of the Jesus Calling devotion book, written by Sarah Young. I love the way it is written, as if God were speaking directly to the reader, in modern day terms. But more importantly, I love the way  God uses it as a way to speak truth to my heart, each and every day.

Yesterday's devotion became especially meaningful, for reasons I'll tell you in a moment, but look over the words of that devotion below:

January 31
I am your strength and shield.  I plan out each day and have it ready for you, long before you arise from bed. I also provide the strength you need each step of the way. Instead of assessing your energy level and wondering about what's on the road ahead, concentrate on staying in touch with Me.  My Power flows freely into you through our open communication. Refuse to waste energy worrying, and you will have strength to spare.

Whenever you start to feel afraid, remember that I am your Shield.  But unlike inanimate armor, I am always alert and active. My Presence watches over you continually, protecting you from both known and unknown dangers. Entrust yourself to My watchcare, which is the best security system available.  I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.

Yesterday morning as I read this devotion, the words "protecting you from known and unknown danger" seemed to stand out. I didn't really understand why it struck a chord in my heart, but I silently thanked God for His protection, and took comfort in knowing that God was watching over me.

This morning my mother called, still a little shaken up from the events that had occurred last night. You see, about a week ago, she had taken her car to the shop to get her brakes checked and repaired. She waited several hours for the work to be done, and then went on her way - completely unaware of any danger.

Last night while driving, her car began making some odd noises and she felt it running differently, as if the tires were flat. She was alarmed, but fortunately had arrived at her destination. She parked the car and was perplexed when all the tires were full of air. She then asked an acquaintance (who just happened to be a car mechanic) if he would mind taking a look at it.

This friend started the car and planned to take it for a quick spin around the block to assess the noise, until he immediately became aware that there were no working brakes whatsoever. Apparently the person who had worked on her car the week prior, had inadvertently neglected to tighten up the bolts, and after a week of driving, the bolts had loosened up so much that they actually had fallen off and out of the car. The vehicle was completely void of any way to stop.

When my mom heard this, she gasped and shuddered at the thought of the tragedy that could   have occurred.  She had been driving around completely unaware that serious danger was lurking - but just as the devotion said, God was alert and active, and He knew what was on the road ahead, even though she did not have a clue.

Do you think it was a coincidence that her brakes stopped working the exact moment that she pulled into the parking place, shortly after having pulled off of a  fast busy interstate, driving through several busy intersections, and pulling into a parking lot where many people and cars were on the move? Of course not!  Do you think it was coincidence that a friend/car mechanic just happened to be at the same place she was? Of course not!

Both of these situations were huge, unmistakable, undeniable God-incidences.  God had put a shield around her car and protected her from harm, in addition to all the innocent people that could have been in danger as well.

Now I can understand why those words jumped off the page into my spirit yesterday. It was because today, God wanted to me remind me, my mother, and maybe even you....  that He is always watching over us,  even when we don't know we need protection.

He knows what danger lurks. He knows what the next day will bring. And He knows how to handle whatever that may be. What great comfort it brings to be reminded that God knows our needs, even before we do.

Are you facing a situation today that has caused fear to enter your heart?  Do you ever wonder if God is really looking out for you?  Would you like for me to pray for you, as you tuck the verses below into your heart and allow God to bring you peace?  If so, just leave a quick comment on my blog.

Or has God protected you or a loved one in a special way that left you speechless and praising Him? Has there ever been a time when you became aware of "what could have been" if God had not intervened? If so, consider leaving a comment as well. We would all be encouraged by hearing about your God-incidences.

Whatever situations we find ourselves in today, let's refuse to waste energy worrying. Let's spend our energies praising God for the known and unknown dangers that He is protecting us from, and concentrating on staying in touch with Him instead.

After all, who could ask for better secret service protection than from God Himself?  

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

Matthew 6:34  So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Psalm 56:3-4 But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?

Genesis 28:15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”

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Donna said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. It was just what I needed to hear. Last April my Godly parents were murdered in their home. My Dad was a Baptist minister and missionary. My Mother was the epitome of what a minister's wife should be.

The day after the funeral I found in Mom's Bible study notes Psalm 91 and she had written, "God's angels are always protecting me. I cannot stub my toe without God allowing it." I knew without a doubt that God's could have stopped the attacker that stabbed them both to death but God had a plan. At the age of 79 they entered heaven together.

My brother's wife is now dying from the complications of ALS. I am flying to see them tomorrow. I know God is going with me. He will take care of any and all dangers I may encounter.

I have written about this in my blog that I began writing last summer.


Anonymous said...

Traci I have been reading your blog for awhile. I truly have grown in my Faith by your writings. My family has been through so much from losing my son in Iraq to losing my marriage. I reach out for God's protection. He has brought me back into the light many many many times. I ask for prayer for my family and self. We start divorce proceedings next week. My children and I are strong but continue to struggle. God has placed many blessings in our storm path. Please pray for us. God knows...

Toni said...

Well said, well done. He lone is our refuge in times of trouble.

Sandie said...

Tracie, I so look forward to reading your posts and the encouragement they bring. I too do not believe in coincidences, or luck, or chance. By faith I believe these all to be God-incidences. I have had so many God-incidences throughout my life I could go on for hours. However the most memorable was the day my mother past away after a long fight with cancer. After having received the phone call from my sister I immediately got in my car to make my way to my parents home were she had spent her final days wanting to see her one last time. Overwhelmed with grief and memories flooding my mind suddenly on the radio a song caught my attention one I had never heard before or heard since that day. A song about a beautiful rose garden and the dew that glistened on the petals. You see my mother loved her rose garden. She always took such special care of her roses and many times used her beautiful garden as examples of life. I knew this was a song meant just for me at the very moment I needed it. Immediately I felt such a peace. I knew my mom was no longer in pain but walking and caring for the most beautiful rose garden of all. You see I believe we all have these moments we simply have to be willing to see and accept that God is who He says He is. He is my strength and my shield planning each and every day before I even begin.

Tracie Miles said...

Donna - I am at a loss for words about the pain that you have experienced. I am so sorry for the loss of your parents in such a tragic way, and the adversity you are now facing. As I was writing this blog post, I kept thinking "but what about when bad things DO happen? What about when it seems like God didnt protect?" Those are normal feelings, but as you said, doesnt nullify the fact that God protects as He sees fit, and that He has a reason for everything, even though it is often so hard to comprehend or accept. I praise Him for allowing you to have such a faith that these tragedies have drawn you closer to Him, instead of forcing you away. I am praying for you, and will visit your blog.

Tracie Miles said...

Anonymous - I have said a prayer for you this morning. I cant imagine the heartache that you have endured with the loss of your son and the breakdown of your marriage. It is okay for us to ask God "why" when it doesnt seem that His angels are present. I wish I had the answers, but some things we wont know until we get to heaven. God will walk you with these proceedings, and I would not stop praying for miracles. He is always capable of doing things we never thought possible. So sorry for all you are going through sweet friend.

Tracie Miles said...

Sandie - your comment made tears well up in my eyes, what a precious God moment in a time that was so difficult. And isnt it amazing how God controls the radio airways too? Similar situations have happend me too when I was in the car listening to music during hard times. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story and I am so happy for the sweet memories that you have of when God walked your mom into His garden.

Jody said...

Thank you so very much for your words today! I have allowed fear to pull me down today due to significant changes in my workplace that have left not knowing who to trust or believe. God knew I would have these few moments alone in my office to read your blog and I am going to my Christian bookstore to look for that devotional.
Blessings & Hugs

Anonymous said...

This is such a silly fear, but today I have to take a 6-hour car trip to see my inlaws, and then turn around Sunday and do it all over again! Riding in a car for a long period gives me so much anxiety. The traffic. The other drivers. Pray for my husband who feels my anxiety on the other side of the car. Pray for us to have a safe trip. I'm silently praying the entire trip, but I still can't have complete faith that God will get us there safely. I hear God telling me to relax, but I struggle with that until we pull into their driveway. Put me on a plane any day.

Sheila said...

I have Jesus Calling and read it everyday too. This is my 2nd year going through it. I'm so glad you commented to Donna about when the bad things happen, and why didn't God protect then. I have SO struggled with that. I prayed for years for God to protect a relationship/person and He did for many years. But then...
So, I still struggle with the concept of prayer, what it does, why we do it. Some days I'm squared with it, other days I'm in the pit of dispair.
Today, I'm good. Let's praise God for that.
I'm focusing on the fact that if I'm trusting God to save me from hell, I have to trust Him for everything else He says in His Word. And if it doesn't make sense to me (protection I DIDN"T get, or healing, etc. I'm NOT getting), then it's just because I'm not God and cannot understand His ways. I must not be understanding His Word correctly. Sorry this is so long. It probably doesn't make sense either. Thank You, God, that You understand my babblings.

Anonymous said...

I just started Jesus Calling in Oct. It is the first thing I read each morning and have so appreciated all it blesses me with.

Two days after CHristmas this year my 76 yr. old parents were involved in a vehicle accident and I had a "fear" in my heart the night before that prompted my prayers for whatever and when I got the call about their accident I knew what I had prayed for! Angels def. protected them as their vehicle was on the verge of rolling and from the sight of the damage it's amazing that my Dad, the driver, walked away with only glass cuts. He says the Lord knew he would need to take care of my mother who broke her ankle and is not able to walk by herself with the heavy cast on.

I do appreciate your writing... real life stuff.

Jennifer Dougan said...

How wonderful that God protected your mom like that Tracie! Thanks for that encouraging story.

Growing up on the mission field, I have heard story after story of God doing miracles like that but it is so easy to forget to thank him, isn't it? Thank you. It reminds me of his love to hear your story and to think of other similar ones.

Jennifer Dougan

Mansion Moms said...

Traci, I so needed this post. I have been dealing with so many fears myself recently. My husband has been traveling more and it can be scary for my girls and me here alone. I love the saying that God is our best security system. I believe I will put that saying on our alarm keypad to help calm my fears each night he is away. . .If you don't mind I would love to link to your post from my blog tomorrow. I have posted recently about fears and would love to reference your post to encourage others like it did me! Thank you for your words!

Tracie Miles said...

Jody - sometimes I think the workplace is one of the places where our faith is strethed the most. So many people operate in ways that are so unpleasing to God, and for us Jesus girls, it's hard to understand. I pray God gives you clarity about what is going and what your next steps should be, and that you can find a trusted friend to rely on in the midst of the mess.

Tracie Miles said...

Anonymous, re: traveling. My prayers are with you and I trust you made it safely today! Traveling can bring on axieties - I know, because my family actually gets anxiety when they know they have to spend long hours in the car with me! I despise sitting in the car for hours on end and sometimes it gets ugly. I pray a swarm of angels will hover over your car all the way there, and all the way home, and that your anxieties will be kept at bay by resting in Jesus. :)

Tracie Miles said...

Sheila - your comment makes perfect sense. When it seems God is ignoring our prayers, it is normal for us to wonder if He is really listening in the first place. One of the situations in my life where I struggle with this most, is watching my sister struggle with Multiple Schlerosis. I have come to realize that God may not heal her physically as I want, but that He is using her to be a witness to others about loving Jesus even when life is hard, and her children have learned strength and perseverance and faith, which most children dont learn until adulthood. I pray that God can help you see how He is doing good things in you and through you, and that you can continue to trust Him even when we dont understand His ways.

Tracie Miles said...

Mansion mom - Im so glad to know that took out a little piece of this blog post that could speak security and safety to your heart! I love your idea about putting it on the alarm clock - you can doze off to His promises, and wake up to them too. Praying for you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your topic of God's protection. Mine, like many others, has been an extended season of life storms. Not just one or two things, but wave after wave after wave of stressful events. Unemployment, sickness, cancer, family relationships falling apart, close relatives dying, just to name a few. Throughout this time, I have struggled very hard with trying to keep my eyes on God in all of this. I’m trying to focus on what He is teaching me. I’m trying desperately to believe that He still has my back.

Last week, my husband and I awoke at 3:00 am to a house on fire. We were all asleep and it started in the very back of our house underneath the crawlspace. None of our smoke detectors went off, even though we changed the batteries on one the week before. Our family of five as well as our pets should have died. But we didn’t. My husband got up because of a stomach ache and went to our kitchen for some medicine. He noticed the power was out and went to investigate. His investigation led to the discovery of the fire, which we were able to quickly and easily put out. What should have killed us was nothing more than a minor inconvenience with minimal damage.

For a moment, I was stunned. I was somewhere between thinking what else could possibly go wrong and being truly grateful my children were still with me and I still had a place to live. I just didn’t know what to make of it. As I was thanking God for our lives, He put on my heart that He still had my back. He was still with me and with all of us as we continue to weather this period of storms.

I wish I could tell you that God miraculously ceased the storms that night. I wish I could tell you my husband is back to work and that we didn’t have another funeral to go to on Tuesday. I wish I could tell you my mother and her sisters are speaking to each other and my father-in-law’s recurring spots of lung cancer have completely healed. The only thing I know for sure is God is still with me. He still walks beside me and He still directs my steps. Isaiah 43:1-3: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Donna said...

As I read all the comments of so many going thru trials, I cannot help but rejoice that God is still on His throne! I posted earlier about losing my Godly parents last April. At the age of 79 they were both stabbed to death in their own home.

To my youngest brother, my Dad was his best friend. They went to IHOP conferences together, talked for hours every week. Tonight my brother lost his wife of 26 years to the cruel disease of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). I am grateful I was able to be with them tonight.

We rejoice that Kate is now pain free and is dancing in heaven with my Mom and Dad who she loved dearly! Yes we will miss her but we will celebrate her life!

Ps 91:14-15 "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;