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IN HIS HANDS
A thorough study of the Scriptures shows that God has always undergirded those He has planned to become His so He won't lose us before salvation to the physical enemy of death. My 30-year presalvation existence is proof of that. And, but for His Grace, I wouldn't have reached the age of 30 and been saved; nor would I now be alive 38 years later.
I believe His major work of nurturing and protection begins the moment we accept His gift of salvation. While we immediately become His and He sees us positionally already up in Heaven, we embark upon a tug of war between the old nature and the born-again creature that has just begun to grow.
Those, like me, who had developed an intense need to be in control of every aspect of their life, because of happenings during pre-salvation time, tax the Lord the most. We tend to bounce off like little lambs, either not hearing nor heeding the Great Shepherd's Warnings nor Instruction. Therefore, He first keeps the hook of His Staff around our necks, and yanks us off our feet when we getting too close to the edge.
As we begin to leave Christian babyhood and grow into childhood, God will give us tether-length freedom-still maintaining means whereby He can give us a needed yank. By the time we've reached spiritual preteens, it appears as though God has let go of us. However, He hovers over us and flies down under us and catches us mid-air with His Wings like a Mother eagle does with her venturesome eaglets….
He had kept very busy as He monitored this lamb going through a crash course of growing in Christ. Because I had been saved from much, I loved God much, wanted so much to serve Him, and had a tendency to unknowingly take Scripture out of context and apply it to my life. Unfortunately, I frequently proceeded ahead--still on self-will--and came dangerously close to being out of His Control. When this happened, He often had to let drastic things happen to me to stop me and get my attention.
By the time I was 5 years old in Christ, I had completed my journalistic education and come down to Florida to serve as a lay missionary to migrant farmworkers and their needs. Within a year and a half, I was a student in a Southern Baptist seminary in Texas. I had butted my way around the Seminary while in the midst of the struggle between the 30-year old nature and the spiritual child. The enemy was quite tickled at the battle I was having with the faculty members and students not perceiving me as a 33-year-old expert in everything, but rather as that child in Christ.
"Going to the Extreme" did not just come upon the scene with the present century. I could have written a book about it back then-only about going to the extreme in the wrong way. Good God took the faculty and fellow students through the crucible of longsuffering. Everything He managed to teach me back then, I learned the hard way….
Like when I studied all night for the mid-term exams and loaded my car, then took the exams, and my dog Pommi and I headed out on a quick trip back to Florida. Miss "I Can Do Everything Through Christ Jesus Who Strengthens Me" turned a negative ear to caring advice such as her going back to her apartment for a morning rest and then starting out.
The temperature bearing down through the glass of the windshield had to be at least 96 degrees Fahrenheit by the time I was driving on Hwy 80 during the Louisiana flood lands which are the norm during the Spring cresting and flooding of the Mississippi River. I kept getting drowsier and drowsier. (Now this was back--no, not in dinasaurer times--but back in the early 1970's when Interstate Highway trips were interspersed with dangerous, old two-lane highways which often had heavy traffic and no useable shoulders.) Everywhere I looked I saw flooded fields and signs that said "Soft Shoulders, Dangerous When Wet.". A young woman desired to have soft shoulders, but not alongside the highway.
Vaguely I recalled stopping during my initial trip to Texas in early December at a little park about 15 miles further along and on the other side of the Mississippi. There always was very heavy traffic on this two-lane stretch of highway. I remember seeing narrow gray and black barrier posts along the right shoulder, my head starting to fall, and the car heading at close to 70 miles per hour directly to an open space between two of the posts. The shock started the adrenalin flow, I raised my head, and cried out, "Oh, God, help me!!!!"
It all happened so quickly, I don't remember the actual experiencing of the next few minutes; but I did. I was fully conscious and unharmed when the car landed. And, because of where it landed and how, I knew the reports of witnesses were true.
Now, remember, there was heavy traffic flowing in both directions. Yet, it was as if a pair of Hands grabbed the steering wheel, pulled the car back on the road and on around in a U-turn yet keeping it on the road the entire time, sent it on backwards in the direction it had originally been headed, jumped it over a large drainage ditch full of water on what had been the left side of the road, and placed it in the muddy field in a praying position: with the front end facing upward toward the gathering crowd. And, He avoided all the other vehicles in its path!
I turned off the ignition, pulled Pommi out from under everything that had slid beneath the dash, and got out in a daze--which others took to be calmness--and surveyed the damage. Throughout the rest of that afternoon, I heard from onlookers, Department of Transportation personnel who just happened along and stopped to direct traffic and call a wrecker, and even the state trooper the same thing.
"I just don't understand it!"
"What do you mean?"
"How it could have happened. You know, going backward, not hitting any cars, landing right side up as you did, and not ending in a fiery crash. Also, how you can be so calm about it."
I would reply, "Do you remember the movie "God is my Co-pilot?" They would shake their head affirmatively.
"Well, He's not my Co-pilot; He's my Pilot! And insofar as my being calm, do you see that bumper sticker up front?" It was a parody of the slogan, "You're in good hands with Allstate." It showed a pair of strong, cupped, uplifting hands and the words, "You're in good Hands with Jesus." "Well, that's in Whose Hands I am."
They would return to their cars shaking their heads in wonder, and continue on their journey. Amazingly, the only damage was to the front passenger door. The wrecker crew checked the vehicle over thoroughly, and the state trooper said that, since it was a one-vehicle incident, there were no injuries, and he thought any repairs would be under the dollar amount which necessitated it being reported, I could go on my way. With their well-wishes, I continued on to Meridian, Mississippi, where I had a motel room reserved for the night.
During that visit, I had to make a trip from Sarasota to Jacksonville to meet with the Education Assistance Committee of the Florida Baptist Convention. After the meeting, I proceeded on Interstate 10 back home and was beginning to slow down to exit when I heard a loud P-O-P!!! I figured I must have hit a stick or something in the road, because the car was performing okay…until I was going down the exit. Then I could hear a flop-thud, flop-thud. (Normally, I had driven single ply tires. But that December, when my Dad got some new tires for his vehicle, he gave me the old dual ply ones which still had a lot of tread.) I had just had a blow-out going 70 miles an hour!
Breathing up a heart-felt thank-you, I also asked the Lord to give me a place in that little town where I could get the tire fixed. Well, they had the next best thing. I was able to get a retread for $5.00 and continue on back to home.
Did I start being more careful when I drove? Yes, by all means. However, I had been carried up to another plateau in my growth in Christ. Those incidents led me to experience why God says in His Word that we are not to fret or worry. We are in His Hands. Were there later other startling or life-shaking occurrences along my life's way. Of course, but there's been a Presence, a knowing that Jesus is mine and I am His, and of being in His Hands.
### -- Roberta J. Kittrell - 11/19/2004 - copyright 2004 - Word Count: 1512
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Powerful anointed article!!! Psam 91 comes to my heart when I read of your accounts of God's Awesome protection!!! Amen, we are in His Sovereign Loving Holy Hands Always!!! God miracously protected me the other day in a accident I had around our home when a large micro wave dish shattered by my bare feet and I did not have one piece of glass cut me!!!! There have been numerous times in my life where God miracously has protected me!!! "Praise the Lord for His Loving Kindness and Faithfulness!" In Christ,Dee "Numbers 6:24,25,26"
Quite a breath-taking account, Roberta. A good read and fine testimony of being in God's protective care. Amen. I had no difficulty relating to your being Miss In Control! Sounds like an echo of my own baby Christian life. We serve an awesome God. May you and your loved ones enjoy a blessed holiday season. Karen
Well hallelujah! Wonderful praise report, Miss Bobbie. Sounds like my daughter's one-car accident. If you'd like, I would love for you to read my article "Teenagers - What fun!" It's not just a similar experience, but the idea behind your article (growing in Christ and being in His hands along the way) is similar as well. I enjoyed!