As we were leaving church, the girls announced they were going on an ice cream date with Dad. Our son, driving my minivan, had the idea that our van of boys and me go to Sonic. So, we also enjoyed a quick treat. We arrived home first. Our son was in the driver's seat. I took the keys to open the front door as he remained in the van to check his phone messages. I gave the little boys instructions as usual to prepare for bed. About 5 minutes later, our son rushed into the house and told us that a man had pointed a gun at him and robbed him of his wallet and of his first new phone. (The man probably was quite disappointed to find such little cash and no credit cards, but I suppose the phone made it worth his while.) It happened so quickly. The man got what he wanted and left in his car. A police officer came and kindly helped us. To him, it was probably just a minor robbery that happens everyday, but to me, it was a big deal. Many lessons can be learned. Hearts are pondering. Perhaps, I'll share more in a later post. The scene plays back over and over. I know my voice became very shaky when I called for help. I believe it was not of fear, but of gratefulness to God in realization that our son's life could have easily been taken in a moment – right in front of our house – the parsonage – in a lovely neighborhood. Our son robbed at gunpoint was calm after the frightening assault, and I'm thankful that he realizes God protected him – not himself, not his parents, not a friend,… but God Almighty. God's ways are not ours, yet we thank Him for His workings in our lives.
After we took care of details for a while, I went to my Bible which held six greeting cards I had just purchased a couple of hours before church. We have two special celebrations in our church family this week. I needed two cards, and bought six. One was for this son as I have been praying for him beginning a busy senior year of high school. When I took this card out and reread it, it nearly made me numb. In the simple process of reading and buying cards, the Lord had prepared my heart for the danger that would appear from nowhere within four hours.
The inside of the DaySpring card reads:
"God has gone before you, and He is with you."
"Praying for you."
I am marking it down that God went before my son and was with Him in that scary moment. I am marking it down that God went before me and was with me when all the questions flooded my heart after the event.
Mark it down that God is going before you even now and preparing you for a time that you will need to know He is with you. If He allows the trial, the robbery, the wreck, the illness, the financial reversal, the failed relationship, the danger, the great disappointment, the chronic situation, the unknown, the death of a loved one, the prodigal family member, etc… He is with us through it.
I thank the LORD for His protection of our son, and that He is a God of purpose. He was there even before I had time to dial 911, before I had time to call my husband, before I even knew what was happening in my front yard. ~Jeri Lynn
"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour…" -Isaiah 43:2-3a