Most of us can think of plenty of incidents or experiences in our lives or the lives of loved ones when we asked, “Why did this have to happen?” Why wasn’t I spared?” or “Why wasn’t my friend spared?” But I wonder how often we think about all the times when something “almost” happened but we were spared. How often do we take if for granted when we come close to tragedy, pain or loss but it doesn’t happen? Our family had an experience like that a couple of days ago. We have a big, plastic storage bin that we keep on our deck backed up to the house. It is full of firewood. That afternoon, I left to go get my hair cut. Our son was planning to leave to meet his dad. He decided to sit on the couch for a few minutes first and happened to look out the doors leading to the deck. At that moment, he saw smoke coming from the storage bin! He raced out and opened it up only to see flames shooting up at least a foot. He first ran inside to get water to throw on it but ended up using the hose to douse it all with water.
(The wall you see through the melted plastic is the wall of our den.)
Two minutes. Just two minutes made a difference. If he had decided to leave two minutes sooner or had gone upstairs for something, the flames would have soon engulfed our deck and then the house. He “happened” to be in the right place at the right time when it spontaneously combusted. God graciously spared us the painful experience of a house fire. (If it had happened in the night, our son would have been sleeping just a few feet from where the fire started.)
Another incident also happened on the same day. A dear friend who lives in another state was driving on the highway when a car crossed the median and hit her head-on. She was not seriously injured but it could have turned out so much worse!
God graciously spared her from serious injury or death. It got me to thinking about how many times we are spared from things over the course of our lives. We tend to focus on the times when we weren’t spared. I think everyone has experienced many times they were spared. I also think that if we only knew the complete truth, we would see all the times God protected us when we didn’t even know we were in danger. Every day He gives us is a precious gift. Every breath is grace. Truly, when we walk with Him and recognize His hand is always on us, all of life is grace.
Thank you Father for your protection today. Thank you for sparing us the loss that comes from a fire. Thank you even more for sparing my dear friend. Thank you that You are with us always. We are never alone. Your grace is always covering us. Praise Your Holy name!
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
Can you think of times in your life when you “almost” faced a loss?
Have you thanked God for His grace?