By Richard H.
The prompting came to my soul. I had been away from home that Saturday morning when I had felt a strong impression that I needed to return home immediately. I could not think of any pressing need at home, and in my mind I justified staying where I was. But now the prompting came again.
Immediately I left. During the drive home I was again rationalizing in my mind whether I should have stayed. As I rounded the final corner, and our yard came into view, I saw the reason I needed to be home. Our eight year old son Kevin was hanging upside down, with his foot caught in the crotch of a large tree – a tree with a trunk so big he couldn’t grab onto anything to pull himself up. He obviously had been hanging like that for some time as evidenced by his purple face. After freeing him from the tree, I wondered why no one in the house had come looking for him. What I learned was that my wife had instructed our children not to go outside until their chores were done. Kevin had snuck outside without doing his chores, which meant no one even knew he was gone. But God knew. And that day, as He often does, He used another’s hands to rescue Kevin from a tough spot.
Following a two year leave of absence from college, I was ecstatic to learn that my hard work had led to me being given a spot as a walk-on for the college basketball team. It had always been a dream of mine to play college basketball and I had worked hard for many years to prepare for this day. Things were going well until the night before our first game. That night, during practice, I came down on top of another player’s foot and tore several ligaments in my foot and ankle. My season ended even before it had begun. How could this happen to me? I allowed myself to wonder if God was mindful of me and my plans and dreams. However, as a result of this injury, I found myself focusing on things other than basketball. I met a beautiful, intelligent, and talented young woman who I began to date, and eventually married. I recognize now that had it not been for that basketball accident, I never would have been out of the gym long enough to even notice her.
In the big picture God was there for me. He knew what would be most important for me in the long run, and provided a way for me to focus on something that really mattered. God does know each of us and wants nothing more than to help us out of the tough spots we sometimes get ourselves into. Sometimes his help will not come in just the way we think it should. He is always mindful of us. As we learn to put our trust in him “He will teach us of his ways, and we will [learn to] walk in his paths” (Micah 4:2). One of the names God is known by in the New Testament is “Immanuel”. The literal Hebrew translation of Immanuel is “God with us”. Always remember—“God is with us” here.