"It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV
You know what I've discovered? When writing a book about spiritual warfare there is no such thing as a coincidence.
My youngest daughter is home from college for the holidays. A busy young woman, she has a job at a local store. Normally, she would ride the bus to work but since she's home my husband and I have been taking her into work (and since the ophthalmologist gave me the all clear for driving in the day it's been kind of nice to have a reason to get out of the apartment). So I've been taking her to work in the morning and afternoon, her father has been picking her up at after work in the evening.
As I was driving my daughter to work this afternoon the car began to act strangely. The steering was pulling to the right. The dash was vibrating in an odd manner. Every bump on the road seemed to make the car shudder. And the further along we drove the worse it got.
With an apology to my daughter (and recommendation to her supervisor) I turned from the main road upon which we were traveling onto a side street. We came upon a small church, so I pulled into the parking lot to check the right front tire.
And it was flat.
Thom and I had hit a pothole (gotta love Michigan roads in Winter) last evening, so the flat was not a complete surprise but I haven't changed a tire (we have one of those little "donut spares") in over 30 years! Calling my husband for advice, he reminded me that a tire store was about two blocks from my location. Unsure what else to do, I drove the car (carefully) to the recommended shop. It was a small place, very busy, but the owner was more than happy to help a girl out.
Here's where the story gets a little scary.
The owner of the store was working the front desk and offered to drive the car into the garage for me. When he came back his eyes were wide with concern.
"You ladies were very lucky to make it here in one piece!" he said.
Uh oh. That didn't sound good.
The man grimaced as a mechanic walked in through the door from the garage. His eyes were equally wide as he nodded his confirmation at his boss's assertions.
"The back right tire was minutes away from falling off! The lug nuts are so loose I'm surprised they're still on. I could feel the tire wobbling as I pulled into the garage. Any further, you would have lost the tire and been in a major accident! Have you had any work done on your tires recently?"
Stunned. Shocked. My jaw must have dropped because that's not what I was expecting to hear!
"No. The car hasn't been touched, " I responded a little weakly.
"Well, you were lucky, to say the least." he replied. Then offered to take me back into the garage so he and the mechanic could show me what they were talking about with the back tire. It was a startling thing to realize how close my daughter and I were to being in serious trouble.
If we'd changed the front tire (replacing it with the spare) so we could take her to work, we would have lost the back tire long before ever making it there. If we'd had to travel more than two or three blocks, the tire would have come off on a major (and bustling) city street with lots of cars in front, beside, and behind me.
This was not luck or coincidence.
God's fingerprint of protection was all over this incident. Seriously. A flat tire just as the back is about to fall off (for no good reason I might add)? Something which happened to save us (not only) from being in an accident (with the potential for bodily harm to us and others) and a much more costly repair (there was no damage to either rim. I just had to replace the one tire)?
Yeah. That's what we call a GOD THING!
There have been so many other "not coincidences" which have happened (such as one of our brakes falling off during a trip in late Summer). A passel of health issues (like my diagnosis of a corneal disease), even down to the website (after four years of relatively few problems) having nothing but connection errors, and all the other things which have happened since July (when we learned I'd be writing a new book on spiritual warfare). The enemy has got me (and my family) in his crosshairs to say the least. But you know what?
God's protection, provision, healing, and grace has been present throughout every incident.
Every. Single. One.
The LORD is a mighty warrior who goes in front, stands beside, and travels behind me. He is a strong tower and place of refuge. The enemy may have his plans and schemes, but the Lord has counter-plans and takes what Satan means for harm and uses it for my (your, our) good.
As people have learned of the difficulties we've been facing over the past few months, the first thing they will say is "You know that's a spiritual attack, right?"
Oh yes. My husband and I most assuredly know what this is. All of it. The enemy doesn't want me to walk in faith and obedience. He certainly doesn't want me to write a book with the potential of honoring God or be a blessing to other Christians (or anybody else for that matter) with practical advice on how to stand firm against him. Yes. We know what this is.
But here is the more important fact I always remember:
God's got my back...and never forget He's got yours as well.