“For He guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” Proverbs 2:8 (NIV)
It was the late 60s and our family of four, having taken a short vacation, was returning to our home near Tacoma, Washington via Interstate 5 from the south. I vividly remember that it was later in the day and raining ... not uncommon for that part of the country. We had been traveling since early morning and now, just about thirty minutes from home, we were anxious to reach our destination.
Suddenly, Dad announced, “I think we should stop for a little break before going on.”
Was he not feeling well, or starting to nod off? He appeared OK. We were so close to home, it didn’t make much sense! But stop, we did, in the parking lot of a gas station. There we sat, for about fifteen minutes. Then, just as strangely, Dad decided, “Well, I guess we had best get back on the road!”
Dad was a true man of God; a pastor and evangelist who, along with our mom, had raised both me and my younger brother to be sensitive to God’s voice. We never started an extended road venture without first praying for His protection and guidance for the journey. This day was no exception.
Back on the highway, we had traveled no more than ten miles when we happened upon a horrendous accident. Strewn belongings among twisted metal appeared just ahead. Emergency vehicles arrived in a caravan of flashing red lights. It became apparent that it had just happened shortly before we arrived on the scene. What if we had not stopped for those few minutes? Was Dad’s strange action a result of a Divine intervention?
Throughout the pages of Holy scripture we read of God’s protection over those who put their trust in Him. From mouths of lions, raging seas, plotting enemies and Nature’s wrath, God has guarded “the course of the just” and protected “the way of his faithful ones.” The Psalmist wrote myriad scriptures attesting to God’s care and watchfulness over his own. And the apostles of the New Testament echoed the message in numerous accounts of God’s miraculous saving power!
I can’t say, for certain, that we were spared a family tragedy because we stopped to rest that day just off of Interstate 5. What I do know is, the event made a profound impression on a young preacher’s kid; a seed of faith planted that continues to grow as I daily live within His care.