We had just returned from a week-long visit with my family in another state. The trip there or back takes about 9 hours (8 without kids, but that's another thing), and is over 400 miles long. So, we got home, parked the van in the driveway, unloaded all of our belongings, and started getting things organized. At this point my husband realized he was missing a wire for his ipod, so we opened the van up to see if it had fallen on the floor somewhere. When I opened the back door, I realized that the cover for the brake light that is in the window had fallen off. Mike put it back on, but then thought we should check the brakes to see if the light still worked. The brakes went all the way to the floor, and brake fluid shot out everywhere.
Can you believe it? All of the driving we had done, most of it going at high speeds on the highway, and this happened when the car was sitting still in our driveway.
Of course our first reaction was "oh no, now we have to get it fixed" followed closely by "how much is this going to cost, and how are we going to pay for it?"
But after that, the realization hit that we were about 5 minutes away from a severe accident with our kids in the car. If that had happened on the way home we could have all died. If Mike hadn't misplaced his wire we would never have opened up the back of the car again before we drove it, and we would have been in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the hill near our house.
Mike called it an "unfortunate miracle." And then I got to thinking. Most of the miracles Jesus performed were unfortunate miracles. They didn't prevent problems, they fixed them. The wedding party had run out of wine before he turned the water into more. The woman had had an issue of blood for 12 years before she was healed. Lazarus was in the grave 4 days before he was brought back to life. And Jesus had known ahead of time that he was sick!
So many times I lament about my difficult circumstances. I get upset because things are happening to me. It is easy to look to heaven and cry out "Why me" and "Where are you, God?" when things are going wrong. But when things are going well, I tend to pat myself on the back about my abilities.
Psalm 23:4 says "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Do you see? "Though I walk through." Not around, or away from, but through. God is with us through everything. The rod and staff are tools used by the shepherd to guide the sheep and protect them without getting so close as to spook them.
We need to stay near the shepherd. He can tell when danger is near, and will protect us. If we stay near, he will use his rod to defend us from evil. He will use his staff to guide us in the direction we are supposed to go in.
God never promised us a life free from hardship. He did promise to stay with us when it comes. He send his son, Jesus, and Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit when we commit to following him. We are never alone, and we are never out of reach of God's protection and his guidance.
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:23-27)
Don't miss the miracles! They are still happening every day. Open your eyes, and you may be amazed at what you see!