Anne Herridge

Sharing God's heart through poetry, prose and prayer

Directed and Protected

Whilst we may not always be consciously tuned in to God’s voice or actively seeking his direction on our daily movements, he is always tuned in to every moment of our day.

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)

A month ago, we experienced two different family emergencies on opposite sides of the world, on the same day. Here in Canada, on a visit to my daughter’s home in Vancouver (where she has not been staying since the lockdown), we found the floors and walls of her ground floor room wet with mold and mildew, stemming from a problem with the home’s foundations. Clothing and belongings were covered with mold; furniture was wet and rotten, and mildew was growing on walls and baseboards. We hastily gathered as much as we could and evacuated the room (after calling her landlord) It was so severe that the walls and floor have since been removed and the room is being renovated completely.

We arrived home to learn that our family home in the UK, where my father was still living, had caught fire and been destroyed a few hours earlier. By God’s grace, my father was safe and was being cared for at the hospital.

As I lay in bed that night, pondering these shocking events, I was tempted to wonder why God had allowed these things to happen and to ask “Why?” Verses such Matthew 6: 19 kept coming to mind about not storing up treasure on earth where moth and rust destroy, and I wondered if this was something God was trying to show us. I have always been someone who likes to see God act or hear him speak in an obvious way, so I was convinced that he was surely speaking through these calamities with a clear message. But the message that came to me in the small hours was quite different to my expectation.

The Lord showed me that he had directed my thoughts that day without my even being aware of it.

Initially, we had planned to visit my daughter’s home on the Sunday of that weekend. At the last minute something changed my mind as we felt compelled to go on the Saturday. I clearly remember the thought coming to me quite unexpectedly that we should go on Saturday morning and so we changed the plans for the day. With hindsight I can see that if we had left it until Sunday, we would have received news of the fire and would never have gone to Vancouver, as we spent most of the day online and on the phone to family. This would have resulted in our not discovering the state of our daughter’s room for another few weeks, when so many more clothes and possessions would have been ruined.

God had not shown up in a loud, dramatic way to re-direct our thoughts, but a simple conviction on a day when I, for one, had not been feeling particularly close to him or particularly spiritual in the midst of my weekend busy-ness, Whilst we may not always be consciously tuned in to God’s voice or actively seeking his direction on our daily movements, he is always tuned in to every moment of our day. He directs our thoughts even when we do not necessarily feel his presence as we would hope to. He is always there, directing and protecting those who acknowledge and follow him, as Proverbs 3:6 confirms, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

On the other side of the world at the same time, he was most certainly protecting my father who had been watching TV before going to bed. Hearing strange noises upstairs, he discovered the floor just inside his bedroom door ablaze! The fire quickly destroyed the entire first floor and the entire roof, but my father got out immediately. A short while later, he would have been asleep in that bedroom and may not have been able to get out. Words cannot describe our thankfulness to God who is always at work, directing and protecting his children’s lives.

God is an ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1) and is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17) He has promised to be with us every moment of the day and night no matter which side of the world we live on! (Matthew 28:20) For this he has our eternal thanks.

Prayer: Gracious Father, thank you that even when we are not seeking you, your Presence is guiding, directing and protecting us. When adversity strikes, open our eyes to see you at work and to be able to praise and trust you in the midst. Thank you for being our ever present help in times of trouble and our eternal guide. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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