Praise for Little Things

Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.

He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

The Lord reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the Lord.

–          Psalm 146:1-10

 

 

Praise the Lord.  We went out today, to five different places, and no one tried to kill us.  They did not rob us either.  Praise the Lord.

 

Note that the Psalm above states that we trust in God instead of princes.  It has been nearly a week since the election.  The Scripture is correct.  Our newly elected leaders can do good things, bad things, or nothing.  In any of these options, trusting in God is much more important.  Please pray that our leaders understand that they should trust in God, also.

 

Okay, I guess you feel that something is missing with my opening statement about not facing death.  Well, here goes.

 

About a week ago, I was driving home from church.  I approached a section of road that had been repaved two years ago.  In typical Pennsylvania efficiency, they never leveled the manhole covers.  I had new tires.  I did not want them ruined.  I did not want the suspension damaged.  (I had several hundred dollars of suspension damage running over an uneven manhole cover, once in the past.)  I was the only car on the road for over a quarter mile.  I drove around the manhole covers.  I might have touched the yellow line a little, the line in the middle of the road, but I did not go into the lane for on-coming traffic.

 

The car that was approaching, a quarter of a mile away, had just pulled unto the road at the next intersection, but in typical Pennsylvania fashion, he quickly went from zero to 60 in a few seconds (Speed Limit 25).  He then sharply cut the wheel as if turning left right in front of us, pulling almost completely into my lane.  I slammed on the brakes and swerved toward the curb.  If I had not been going the speed limit and quick to slam on the brakes, we would have hit head-on.

 

An interrupting note here: After I wrote the post on “Cussing without Cusswords”, my wife established a swear jar.  After I realized that we had not died in a fiery crash, I told her to place ten bucks in the jar.  I wanted to use some on this guy who tried to kill us.  Of course, he was long gone.  As quickly as he swerved into our lane, he swerved back.  Before I closed my eyes, he was 5-10 feet from our front bumper and moving at a high rate of speed.  I was just closing my eyes so that the next thing that I saw was Jesus.  In my mind, this was it!

 

I sat there shaking.  I had come to a complete stop.  Other than saying one word as I slammed on the brakes, I did not curse.  The word does not use God’s name in vain, but it is not polite.  After all, in these types of moments, you do not have enough time to say, “Dear Lord, please do not allow me to soil my pants.  Amen.”

 

Unless the Devil Incarnate was driving the car, I had no enmity toward the other driver.  I think he should be locked away for the safety of mankind, but no enmity.

 

Had he seen me dodge the manhole covers while he was turning onto the road and thought I was a poor player of the game called ‘Chicken?’  For those who don’t know what the driving ‘game’ of ‘Chicken’ is, you drive toward each other aiming at a head-on collision, and the first to veer away from the head-on collision is the loser, the ‘Chicken’.  NO!  The first to veer away and save his life is the one with two marbles rolling around inside an otherwise empty brain instead of the ‘winner’ who probably has nothing inside his brain.  We were warned when we moved here that people love playing ‘Chicken’ on the back roads of Pennsylvania, but this was our first experience.  Or was it pure evil?

 

Now, we have often seen parcel delivery trucks park in the road, blocking one lane to make a home delivery.  The cars stuck behind the truck will pull out into on-coming traffic, not caring whether there is anyone approaching from the other side.  I have visited several ditches and front lawns in the past twenty years.  I have gone for the shoulder when people are dodging potholes instead of looking at traffic.  But not ‘Chicken.’

 

Within the past month, we have been walking and nearly run over, multiple times.  Once in a crosswalk in front of the grocery store, thinking that the woman was seeing me, I stopped as she grazed my loose-fitting jacket.  She was texting.  Two days before this incident, another woman brushing past me in the crosswalk of another grocery store, barely fitting her car between my wife who was pushing the shopping cart and me lagging behind, missing each of us by an inch or two.  She was speeding toward the stop sign that is there to warn that pedestrians have the right-of-way – spelled out on the sign beneath the STOP sign.  She was so focused on the stop sign that she totally ignored the reason for the sign.  Why they placed the stop sign in the middle of the crosswalk, I will never know.

 

My comment about not being robbed was regarding the middle of our five places to visit today.  My wife and I are the hosts of a monthly church fellowship in December.  My wife is sometimes worse regarding planning ahead than I am.  We almost have a full month.  We went to a ‘party’ store to get green tablecloths for the round tables at the church.  My wife had used a shopping cart, although we were hardly getting anything.  We had already walked a lot at the first two stops on our journey.  She felt wobbly.  My wife’s reasons for getting the cart were a combination of fatigue as she is recovering from open-heart surgery, her blood sugar as she is adjusting to new medication, and her blood pressure that seems to vary now that her heart is healthier.  She felt the need to lean onto something.  When we left the store, she pushed the cart back to the store entrance.

 

We then went to a store in the next shopping plaza.  I needed some therapeutic shampoo.  My wife talked about looking for a few things, but then suddenly used the same word that I had used the week before – twice.  In her defense, she rarely uses impolite language and never in public settings (this was from the back seat of the car – still not allowed to sit near a frontal airbag), but she has been getting increasingly forgetful.  This scared her.

 

I asked what was wrong.  She said she had lost her purse.  Since she paid for the tablecloths at the previous store, I knew her purse had been left in the cart.  I turned around, drove to the other shopping plaza, and retrieved her purse – still in the cart.  No one had noticed it.

 

So, in summary, I had no one today who tried to run me off the road or kill us by vehicular homicide.  My wife left her purse in a store, but we returned before anyone noticed.  By the way, if I did not have a dry, itchy scalp, we would have been home, 12 miles away, by the time my wife knew her purse was missing.  She only looked for her purse so that she could shop in the other store.  By this point, she was shaking as I had been the previous week.  She no longer wanted to go shopping.

 

Sometimes we complain about not having what the neighbor has, but we could have less if God’s protective hand was not upon us.  There are so many instances where any of our lives could be drastically different if we were there a few minutes earlier or a few minutes later.  Wherever ‘there’ is.

 

In what ways has God made his protection known in your life?  Praise Him and Thank Him for that.  Then thank Him for all those times that you don’t know about, when by mere timing, you were spared, and you may never know how much work was required to make your path safe.  God and His angels are watching over those who believe.

 

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

 

3 Comments

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  1. my husband calls that “having a target on your back” Mark—meaning everything and everyone seems to be gunning for you…literally in the case of the car that almost hit you head on!
    But each time, a Divine hand has directed your path…God’s at work Mark!

    Liked by 1 person

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