“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)
I have been praying for the last several years for God to intervene in a situation in our family’s life. Praying for provision, protection, wisdom, and guidance. I was sharing with a friend during our walk yesterday about how I believe God is getting ready to work in a mighty way and how I’m asking Him to protect us until it happens. She reiterated to me that God hasn’t left us unprotected yet and He’s not going to start now.
Her answer reminded me of a time four years ago, when I was told within 30 days I would be without any income. My job had been phased out. Two days after finding out that news, my husband, our 5-year-old and myself were almost in a car accident with a herd of deer (not one, but 7) that ran across the road mere seconds in front of our car. If my husband hadn’t slowed down to look at a distraction, he and my son would have taken the full impact of 7 deer. God used that example four years ago to remind me if He could protect us physically from a herd of deer without a scratch, He had my employment covered.
Immediately following the walk with my friend, our youngest and I went for our bi-monthly grocery shopping trip. The first store went without incident. However, at the beginning of the second store, I had an encounter with a man that left me feeling extremely uneasy. The Holy Spirit alerted me to the fact his body language, the tone of his voice, his mannerisms and movements were to be paid attention to and I was to end the conversation he drew me into immediately. Without being rude but being abrupt, we walked away from that aisle and without alarming our son, I told him to stick close by as today wasn’t the day to wander or look around. He needed to stay right with me and we needed to hurry. We were in the store maybe 20 more minutes and we saw him staring directly at us at least three other times, in three very different sections, which added to my high alertness.
By now I started praying, asking God what He wanted me to do. It was dark outside, I parked fairly far away, and we were there by ourselves. I felt “relatively” safe inside the store but didn’t want him to see me leave and try to follow us. The Holy Spirit nudged me to check out at the far end of the store, the side away from my car, hoping he wouldn’t see me, and as we’re walking in that direction, one of our dear friends from church was standing in another checkout lane. While I always love seeing him out and about or at church, I was even happier to see him this time. I truly felt God had put him there at that time for us. I debated about telling him about my feeling of being followed, but instead made chitchat before proceeding to head to the other checkout. I was tempted to stand behind him in line, but then he would be heading home and we would be left in the store alone.
Checkout took longer than I planned because I kept having problems, but as always, it was another way to see God’s perfect timing! As we started heading to our car (with me looking all around to see if the man was still watching us), our friend from church was heading to his car too. We had finished at the same time. Only God! We ended up walking out with him and it was only when we were in the parking lot that I let on to him I was scared and God used him to make me feel safe. I thanked him for being there and being used by God that night. As God would have it, we were parked in the same row. We were further down from him, but I felt more comfortable and peaceful now.
We headed to our car, moving quickly and as we were putting our groceries in the backseat, a lady pulled into the spot next to us with a giant van (couldn’t see the store from the other side of the van – God hid us from plain sight) and she was so friendly and outgoing. I offered her my now empty cart, we were able to get in our car shielded, and I drove home knowing it was God once again who used a scary situation in the store to remind me if He could (and would) keep me and our son safe from someone who might have intended to harm us, He definitely was going to protect our family in the situation we’ve been praying about for several years.
I’m so thankful God takes care of His children. And I’m grateful He chooses to show me sometimes the ways He does protect so that I can trust Him to protect while we’re still waiting for the answer to come.