FACING YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE? (July 18, 2016)

Erica GraceErica Grace, ex-missionary to South America, reminds us of a great truth!

Chris and I were nearly half way between two cities in Bolivia, Sucre and Cochabamba, when our worst nightmare came true.

Winding our way around the high Andes Mountains, on very narrow roads, we came face to face with a huge lumber truck, full beyond capacity. It was coming down the same narrow road at full speed!

It was as if Psalm 73:19 – ‘In the blink of an eye, disaster! A blind curve in the dark, and – nightmare!’ – had become a reality!

Security through calling on Jesus’ all-powerful name!
Chris only had a few seconds to get as close as he could to the side of the road.  As I looked out my window I couldn’t even see the edge of the road, only hundreds of metres of drop. The raging river down below looked like a tiny thread, that’s how high we were.

At that moment all we managed to utter was ‘Jesus’ – reverently, prayerfully, calling for his help!

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The next moment the truck was on us. The sound of tearing metal was deafening. Right before our eyes the heavy-laden truck bounced off us, almost like a basketball, and rammed into the mountain side losing half its load.

We all got out of our respective vehicles and in stunned silence contemplated the damage. Our little jeep had lost the mud guard, but their truck was in bad shape. It would take them some days to move it again.

Our hearts were overwhelmed as we realised that the Lord had saved us from certain death! That truck was at least four times our size and coming down at full speed and hitting us, we should have spiralled down the mountain without hope.

Now Christians don’t use the name of Jesus loosely as a sort of magic formula, but we can call on his name and trust him to assist us in times of trouble (John 16:23-24). Personally I believe the Lord had us under his wings that day! Thank you, Lord, for your caring and protection.

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Security through prayer through even strangers

On returning to our home base in Tarija, we had several letters in our mail box. As I read one tears welled my eyes.

A totally unknown to either Chris or myself member of a particular church had felt lead to write us. In the letter she said: ‘I noticed that in your last newsletter you were about to take a long road trip and I want you to know I will be praying for you to have a safe trip.’

I quickly answered this precious lady and let her know she had been used of the Lord in the most remarkable way. Someone had been upholding us in prayer.

Perhaps you know missionaries and receive their newsletters. I invite you to notice when they tell you their plans and really intercede for them in prayer. Especially pray for protection, for favour, for open doors, for fruit for their labours.

Missionaries hope the folk ‘back home’ are upholding them in prayer. You never know when it will be your prayer that saved them from disaster, or moved angels into action. But in eternity you will share in the reward, for those that labour and those that hold the labourers in prayer, or support them financially, will have equal reward

Security under God’s wings
Reflecting on our miraculous protection above, I recall the heart of Jesus expressed in Matthew 23:37, so desirous to protect God’s children – ‘How often I’ve ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me.’ Calling on Jesus’ name for his help in our time of danger certainly resulted in his embracing us!

Actually the Bible has a lot to say about wings, some 64 scriptures…the might of eagles’ and angels’ and the strength of their protective covering power.

The word ‘wings’ also speaks of  ‘feathers’ reminding us that at times we only need the softness of a gentle protective covering (Mat. 23:37 above and in Mat. 14:31:  ‘Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him’).

In our scary South American encounter above, it was a powerful protecting. I believe, I just know, there were several mighty angels holding our jeep steady that nightmarish day – as we read in Psalms 91:11, ‘He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.’

God’s caring for us in times of danger is likened to being under his wings – Psalm 91:4NLT, ‘He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armour and protection.’ Now God doesn’t have wings as such – but ‘being under his wings’ speaks of being secure in him no matter what is going down.

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Security in an unsecured world
It seems like every week the newscasts bring news (such as in France last week) of dangers and shocking things happening around the world.

As followers of Christ, whether we’re just being about normal life, or missionaries in dangerous territory or serving God at home, what comfort to know that being under his wings we will be safe.

Jesus quoted Psalm 91:11 in Luke 4:10. ‘Keeping’ speaks of a hedging around, guarding and protecting. It’s good to know that he is caring for us and will be there for us in all of life’s dangerous roads, catastrophes and challenges. That our lives are in his hands.

Facing what appears to be your ‘worst nightmare come true’ at this time? Only God knows the future, how things work out. Nightmares – bad things – can happen to good people too, but the Christian’s hope is in our Lord, that he is there for us and will bring us though when things go wrong.

It may not always be a miracle such as we experienced – but however he proves his love, however he embraces us, whatever the outcome… let’s be thankful.

Call on the name of Jesus, release faith and trust in him – the all-powerful one is there for you to cover you with his wings.

Erica Grace is author of Foundations for the Family, a biblical teaching series suitable for whole congregations. Warmly welcomed itinerant ministers, she and her husband, Chris, are also on the ACC Multinational Pastors Team, Victoria. Links: sevengraces@bigpond.com / (041) 270 2945

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