Some things that we were headed into would have been disastrous for us, but God by way of divine providence stepped in, delayed us and preserved our lives.
We planned to go somewhere, like on a trip, but we got sick and couldn’t go or death occurred in the family and it changed things at the last minute. Some of us can testify that if we had been a minute earlier or a minute later in some situations something bad could have happened.
We ought not get mad or upset every time something keeps us from going somewhere. Several years ago I had to preach at a Baptist Association’s Annual Moderator’s Night service in Robeson County. The secretary for that association had called me a week or two earlier by cell phone to confirm the date. She was at a traffic stop light at the time of our conversation and for whatever reason, because we were on our cell phones, we were disconnected or lost our signal so I returned the call to her but I didn’t get an immediate response. A minute or so later she called me back and said, “Rev. Ellis, you just saved my life!”
I asked her what she meant and she said, “I was at the stop light when you called me back. At the moment it changed to green you called and I hesitated to move because I was answering your call, and at that very moment a truck ran the red light and ran right in front of me.” She said, “If you had not called at the moment that you did, when that light changed to green I would have pulled out right in front of that truck and would have been struck and hurt or killed — that moment of hesitation to answer your call saved my life!”
I said “God is good,” and she agreed!
We don’t know why things happen sometimes to delay us but we know that things happen for a reason and that God works in mysterious ways. My wife and I experienced this one past Christmas when we were getting ready to go to Pigeon Forge, Tenn. It had been a trip in the planning for two years and we were excited about going but for whatever reason the bottom fell out. It seemed that everything bad that could happen did happen and we could not understand why God put the detours in our way, why the way we wanted to do it didn’t work. But after we went on to Tennessee, had a good time and came back we realized that if God had allowed our plan to work it would have hurt us much further down the road. Because God detoured and altered our plans and did it his way, it was the best Christmas we ever had!
We ought to thank God for his “divine appointments.”