Earlier this week, after spending over five hours in the emergency room with my wife, I left Troy Beaumont around 11:30 p.m. It had been a very long day for me, and it would be a much longer night for Monica. With BP and EKG issues, she was admitted for observation and further testing. The Lord was with me on the way home – all the way from the hospital parking lot to our garage I never had to stop … every stoplight on Hall Road, from Dequindre to I-94 (and on 21 Mile, also), was green!
As I said a little prayer of thanks, I got to wondering, “Did Jesus manipulate all of those lights just for me?” If he did, it is an incredible display or his amazing grace and love – managing these tiniest of details on my behalf! It seems as though this is exactly what is promised when he says, “The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” (Psalm 121.7-8)
Yes, the Lord is attentive to the minute details of our lives – Jesus says, “Even the hairs of your head are all numbered” (Luke 12.7). Every moment, event and occurrence of our lives is under his constant lordship and care. My question is, “Do you find this to be good news or bad news?”
I ask this because I am now wondering, “Does this mean that, if he manipulated the stoplights to be green, is he also manipulating Monica’s heart to act up? And those aggravating drivers that invade my space on the freeway – is he the one sending them my way?” Or am I free to pick which items in my life are caused by God, and which have differing reasons for occurring?
The REALLY GOOD NEWS is that, ultimately, the answer to this question does not really matter!
How can I say this? Psalm 121 (and Psalm 23, for that matter) lead me to the promise “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.” (Romans 8.28) Thus we are assured that, whether the events in our lives are pleasing, uncomfortable or downright painful and ugly, even “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8.37-39)
In Monica’s “further testing” she also experienced a series of “green lights”. In spite of countless staff members (who were all wonderful) exclaiming to her, “Don’t you feel that?” she never felt a thing. The heart catherization revealed clean, healthy arteries (the cardiologist said, “I’m a plumber. You need an electrician.”). The remedy to the issue is a new prescription … and they even said it will work well for me to pick her up right after I conduct a funeral today!
It is just as he has promised – his “goodness and mercy are following us all the days of our lives.” (Psalm 23.6) … “nothing in all creation is able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 8.39) Of course this is much easier to believe … and our praise of him flows much more freely … when all of those stoplights are turning green!
Lord, keep me trusting and praising you, even when the light turns red and the hurricanes come.