For the Soul

Assurance of His Protection

“And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you,
He will not leave you nor forsake you;
Do not fear nor be dismayed.”
(Deuteronomy 31:8)

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. A hot, sunny day on Fwy I-40 as I was sitting at the wheel driving our family van toward home after the 4-day conference in Chicago. Our next road stop was Joplin, Missouri. We landed at the local Wal-Mart, stretched our stiff legs from sitting in the car for so many hours, got some foodstuff, and even fueled up. All in all, we spent probably about an hour or so in Joplin until we finally headed back on the road. Little did we know what would follow the next day, in that same place….

The picture above is one of the many horrifying scenes of the tornado aftermath.

I am practically at a loss of words…

To think that we could have been there in Joplin that Sunday when the tornado struck, had we left a day later from Chicago or tarried on the road. To think that it could have happened even Saturday while we were there. To think….that we actually passed through there, seen the people, the buildings, the places that the next day, would be just – Gone. Demolished, leveled to the ground, dead. My heart hurt for those people.

But on the other hand…

To think that God carried us through a tunnel of safety and fair weather, on our way to and from Chicago, while storms were passing ahead of us or coming behind us and hitting other localities… To think that God protected us from that tornado in Joplin, and allowed us to be one day ahead of the storm…To think that God answers prayers, and sustains His children and carries us through as though on wings of eagles.

How can I express my thanks for His protection? To tell the truth, I was worried about tornadoes before we left to Chicago, knowing we would pass through the states where tornadoes are common. And since we’re on the subject, thank you dear friends for praying! That is what made this trip so smooth, memorable, full of God’s provision and protection. I can’t wait to tell you more!

So yes, I was worried, but before we left, as I rummaged through a pen box on my desk, I found a slip of paper with the verse above that I had written awhile back when the Lord granted me this verse. I felt God was giving that to me as a message, so I took the paper with me to remind me and encourage me on the road:

“And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you,
He will not leave you nor forsake you;
Do not fear nor be dismayed.”
(Deuteronomy 31:8)

And I was also browsing through a devotional book the night before we left, as my thoughts were wandering away into worryland.  My eyes fell on a title for a certain day in May. And it hit me so directly. It said: “Assurance of His Protection”. I had so many promises of God’s protection! I had to embrace that, and know He had given me personal assurance of His protection for our trip.
I took those to things with me on the road. One in my pocket (the paper slip with the verse) and one in my heart. And I repeated them to myself when I tended to look below, at the supposed dangers, instead of above, at the Divine Protector.

To a smaller degree, was as if God led us through the Red Sea as He led the children of Israel…parting the storms away from us so they wouldn’t engulf us and making the path clear all the way home. And I am a grateful, undeserving recipient of that Grace.

Let us pray for and remember those in Joplin Missouri, that God would extend His mercy and grace upon them and help many recover as well as turn to Him during this time.

photo via: ABC7

4 thoughts on “Assurance of His Protection

  1. God is very, very merciful. I’m so thankful for the protection that He gave to you and your family, Becky! A couple in our church actually had reason to drive through Joplin on Sunday shortly before the tornado came through…we didn’t know how bad the weather was and we’re so thankful that God protected them as they were directly in the path of the tornado. God’s merciful protection once again.

    I’m amazed at what happened to the town of Joplin in such a short time. Truly, we do need to remember those in Joplin in our prayers.

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