Only one more week of Advent! Thanks for staying with me as we study the theme of HOPE.
A year ago, my husband Gene stayed with three of our grandsons for several days while their mother and father were away on a trip. Each day, Gene hoped to have a brief devotional time with the boys and share a story about how God had protected his life. As a child, Gene broke through the ice while walking on a local pond. As a college student, he fell asleep at the wheel of his VW bug and ran into the guardrails, totaling his vehicle, but not sustaining bodily injury. When up in a small plane flying over the Grand Canyon, his friend – the pilot! – fainted; Gene had to pilot the plane until his friend revived.
On the last day of his visit, as Gene prepared to leave my daughter’s house for our home, he was cleaning snow off his car. Suddenly he heard a loud CRACK above his head. A huge branch from a pine tree fell 30 feet and landed just a yard from where he was standing, missing both him and the car. One of the boys saw what happened and called out, “I guess God just saved your life again!”
When we hope in God, one of the other rewards of hope is God’s daily protection. In Psalm 33:16-19, the psalmist warns us, “The best-equipped army cannot save a king, . . .Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory – for in all its strength, it cannot save you – but the Lord watches over those who fear him, over those who hope in his unfailing love. He rescues them from death.” When we hope in God, his eye is watching over us right now, not waiting until we safely arrive in heaven.
Think back today to times when God has protected you in the past and brought you safely to this day. Could you tell a story about one of those events to someone who needs encouragement to hope in God this Christmas?