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Monday, January 23, 2012

Is God Involved?


OK, so this isn't breaking news on any national level, or even a state or local level, but I'm having a hard time thinking about much else right now and I have a blog post to write!

On the way to church Sunday morning my three sons (19, 17 and 14) and their 15-year-old friend were in a roll-over accident. On a slushy road, Son #2 started to slide (going too fast) and over-corrected. They slid off the road, rolled through an enormous sagebrush and a fence, and came to rest upside-down.

Praise the Lord, all four walked away without a scratch. We (myself, husband, daughter and family friend) were just a few miles ahead of them and were at the scene within a few minutes. I've spent most of the afternoon alternating between having the shakes from nerves, praising God for His mercy and His angelic protection, and thanking Jesus that my oversized babies are safe.


As the wreck has been the primary topic of conversation since our return home (reviewing and rehearsing and rewinding the events seems to be a sort of therapy), several things keep resurfacing in conversations...

1. Husband and Son #1 felt "mildly uncomfortable" about Son #2 driving today, considering the road conditions. However, we had to take two cars today. Daughter felt uneasy about going, too, but couldn't put her finger on a reason. (I always feel uneasy about my children driving, so if we based everything on my feelings we would ALL be agoraphobic and no one would ever leave the house again.)

2. As we left this morning, I hollered at them all, "Buckle up and pray!" Pretty standard momma warning at my house, but it seemed especially important today. All four were wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident, thank You, Lord, for momma warnings.

3. For almost two decades, I've prayed a prayer every time I leave home that goes something like this: "In the name of Jesus, I plead the blood of Jesus over this vehicle, top to bottom, bumper to bumper, side to side, and all the working parts. I thank you, Lord, for getting us safely to and from all our destinations without accident, incident, or mishap, and that we'll not bump into anything and nothing will bump into us." I credit that prayer, that expression of faith, for years of safe travel and long-lived vehicles. Today, as I began to recite that prayer, the Holy Spirit nudged me from the inside ... "don't just pray by rote, pray from your heart, from your faith." OK, I thought, searching my spirit for those 'rhema words' — those living words of faith, inspired by the Spirit of God. The prayer that emerged had to do with God "keeping all our comings in and goings out," guarding and keeping us and delivering us from destruction.

4. Just prior to the accident, Son #1 felt "something was wrong" and began to pray. (If you SAW Son #1, you would never think he would be one to be paying attention to the Holy Ghost, which just goes to show that you can't judge a book by its cover.) He wanted to tell his brother to slow down, but "didn't want to be a nag." Most of us, as wives, have been in that position. While 8-1/2 months pregnant with Son #3, hubby got pulled over for speeding seconds after I wanted to tell him to slow down, but didn't want to be a wifey nag—$89 later I determined nagging was cheaper than getting a ticket and have been a cheerful nag ever since.

All in all, it was an alarming, nerve-wracking, difficult day. But still, the only thing that keeps rising up in my heart is heartfelt gratitude to God for His mercies that are new every morning.

Meanwhile, we have learned (or been reminded of) yet another lesson... God really does warn, and advise, and prepare, and He is, above all else, TRUE to His promises. We may not always respond accordingly to His warnings, advice, or preparation, but He keeps working on our behalf even when we "miss it," tangibly doing all He can for us. Having seen the accident myself, I'm convinced there were angels at work today on behalf of those four boys.

If there's anything we need to remember in light of current events, whether personal or national or economic or global, it's this ...

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 
As it is written, 'For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.'
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 8:35-38

Thanks for letting me vent.

About the Author: Niki writes fiction, blog posts, articles in the local newspaper, grocery lists, and Facebook status updates. She can be found at her own blog, In Truer Ink, in addition to posting here. She was a 2009 finalist in the Faith, Hope, and Love "Touched by Love" contest.




14 comments:

  1. Wow, that gave me teary-eyes and shivers. There have been several times I've felt unusually prompted to pray and then avoided a bad accident just minutes later. What a great reminder!!! Listen to that still, small, voice. I'm sure you'd rather there have been no accident at all, but still this is such a huge blessing.

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  2. I had the same reaction as Dina. Just goes to remind us that obedience to the Holy Ghost is such an essential thing. Just follow the prompting, there may not be time to dilly dally!

    A precious reminder, thanks for sharing, Niki.

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  3. Amen, Niki! I, too, have learned that voice IS the Holy Spirit, and if I fail to listen I'm always sorry, but if I do listen things always turn out right.

    I am so thankful your boys are safe!

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  4. Ditto

    Ditto

    I also laughed at the idea of keeping them all at home, in sight, and safely under 'my' control.
    Oh that's so true. We could be so consumed by worry, though it appears to do nothing. Prayer, on the other hand and having a loving Father in control does.

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  5. Thanks, all.
    Hubby turned to me last night and said, "Why does God have to be so subtle about it???"
    Reminded me of Jim Carrey hollering "Show me a sign!"

    I hope everyone who reads this and has kids (particularly teenage boys) will be able to point out to them the importance of being "tuned in" to the voice of the Lord. Maybe our bad/good day will help someone else!

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  6. How can we question God's presence when things like this happen? Niki- I am SO glad you and your family listen - and that you shared this story.

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  7. Niki, I'm so glad your family is safe and since I've rolled my own vehile - and almost lost/paralyzed Jessica in the process, you can be sure I was right there with you as I read your update yesterday on FB and now here today. It's only by the Grace of God our families are still intact.

    I had some funny thoughts as I read this... If he was going so fast, perhaps he was trying to catch up with his faster father. Like I said... it was just a thought when I read that your car was a couple miles ahead.

    Another thought - this time as I read your prayer for total coverage... I've never been a prayer warrior and usually go for the short and to the point prayers, so I've always prayed "Jesus, put your hands on the wheel" long before Carrie Underwood recorded Jesus Take The Wheel.

    When I read your FB status to Nelson, who is a professional driver, he said he hates driving on slush as it's the worst and most unpredictable of road surfaces.

    And I try not to nag, but when I feel that nudge, I let it rip!

    Our God is awesome.

    Anita.

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  8. whoa... shivers just reading about this. God is so faithful. My mom is a prayer warrior, so i've lived my life with her prayers of protection. Now that i've a little one of my own, I've been convicted more than once that I need to be that faithful prayer-mom for him.

    I also think it's a wonderful testimony for you to see how your children can sense the nudges of the Holy Spirit. What a gift to know that you have raised them in an environment where they can recognize that still small voice. that is so awesome! i know that it's because of God's faithfulness, but it's also because of your faithfulness to God.
    Thank you for sharing this here. It is a wonderful testimony as well as a lesson to keep our spiritual ears "tuned in".

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  9. Niki--

    Praising God for keeping your family safe. I've had those little nudges that something was wrong. And ignored them at my peril.

    I'm thinking of one in particular, but really can't share it because it involves other people. Only I will say that it was a persistent nudge, and if I hadn't dismissed it as my imagination for so long, it would have been less painful to deal with.

    Will now pray that the insurance and replacement of the car goes smoothly.

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  10. @Joanne
    Exactly! You stop and look at what could have happened, and realize that the only reason it didn't is because God was involved.

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  11. @Anita-
    Scary stuff. I was in one rollover with my dad at the age of 5 or 6, and another with my mom a year or two later. My mom used to testify to how I "should" have been crushed by the bundles of newspapers in the vehicles in both instances, but miraculously was sheltered both times.

    Oh that's funny about him trying to catch up to his dad... Hubby didn't want to follow them because he thought they would be driving too slow, but we thought they were ahead of us anyway. Turns out they stopped at the store before they left town.

    You should tell Carrie Underwood you deserve some royalties! : ) And I like those short prayers, too.

    Agree with you about the slush. I'd rather drive on ice. Slush pulls you around too much.

    Amen, nagging is healthy for all involved.

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  12. @DebH
    Thank you! I love that you have that legacy of a praying momma to follow in your own parenting path!
    And yes, it IS nice to get those little confirmations that one's children are listening. Now if we can all start ACTING on what we're hearing instead of doubting ourselves!

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  13. @Barbara,
    Yeah, I hate looking back and realizing, "Oops, that WAS the Holy Ghost!" Every major issue we've had has involved something along those lines. Thankfully, we haven't had too many...but still!

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  14. Powerful post, Niki. A few times, I've felt the Holy Spirit nudging, and I've learned to obey that nudging.

    Astonishing story. And I praise God that He sent you and your family a nudge through the Holy Spirit *and* He protected your children.

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