Problems and Protection: Timing is Everything

Spotting God in the Rear View Mirror
Our pastor has been known to point out that a situation that looks like a problem can prove to be protection. In these cases, it’s only in hindsight–life’s “rear view mirror”–that we recognize His hand on us. Perhaps the classic example in this genre is the “I missed my flight, then the plane I had planned to board crashed.”

Fortunately, plane crashes are relatively rare occurrences. This type of protection isn’t so rare, though. My friend Denise graciously agreed that I could share her story of such an incident. It began with a last minute search for an item her daughter needed, a situation familiar to any parent. Here is her story:

“A couple of years ago Victoria and I were very late one Friday morning, getting out of the house. We lived in Perris and even with Friday-light traffic, it was still an hour + 20 to get her to school. Dashing out the door, Victoria told me that she couldn’t find her glasses. I was sure that they were in the car; that’s where she had taken them off the night before when she went to her Aikido class. But they weren’t there.

“So we started searching. After a few minutes I had her get in the car. I continued to search for awhile, to no avail. (Side note here: on any other day, I would have taken her to school without the glasses instead of spending all that time, but this particular Friday night I was taking her to see Wicked, then we were spending the night in Lake Forest because she had an early swim meet, then soccer then church. She needed the glasses). But finally, I gave up.

“I got in the car and in exasperation opened the little compartment that we keep her glasses in, saying, “I just don’t get it.” And guess what? The glasses were there. Not under anything, not behind anything, just there in the compartment staring up at me. Having looked in there twice already, I was stunned. A few minutes into the drive I told Victoria that there was some reason why we weren’t supposed to leave the house any earlier–that was the only explanation. She agreed; she had seen me look in that spot before.

“Thirty minutes or so later, cruising down the 91 in the carpool lane, traffic stopped. A 3-car accident was ahead of us, against the block wall of the carpool lane. It had happened just minutes before; those involved were out of their cars. At least one driver seemed to be hurt, as everyone was gathered around her car, but no emergency crews were there yet. And I felt with every fiber of my being that this was the reason.

Why were we favored that morning? I’ll not know until the day I meet Jesus. But I know that we were. “

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. 12 For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.

Psalm 5:11-12 (NLT)