What Held Me Back?

October 12, 2001
by Mary Daniel

Psalm 4:8 – I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. (KJV)

Psalm 91:11 – For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. (KJV)

It was just an ordinary early morning walk like all the others. Beautiful weather and scenery surrounded us. We walked up the hill and through the tunnel, gazing at the graffiti that greeted us as we emerged. We then followed the paved pathway that is bordered by some sort of grain which appears to be growing wild — but can't possibly be when it is so perfectly placed on either side of the path.

My dog stopped for a sniff here and there — lingering a little longer at one place over another.

As a short-cut, we had to walk down a short, steep, sand-and-gravel footpath to get to the stoplight which would allow us to cross the highway, pop into a store to pick up the morning paper, then onto a sidewalk and down a hill to get back to our home.

This, or a variation of it, is our routine most mornings, so it is familiar territory.

After the "walk" signal comes on, I always look both ways just in case there is that one person who's preoccupied and either doesn't see the red light or doesn't care that it is there. That morning had been no different. The coast was clear. All vehicles had come to a complete stop.

However, on this particular morning, I continued to stay still. It wasn't that I'd either heard or seen anything. Somehow I just knew not to move.

All of a sudden, from what seemed like nowhere, a motorcycle roared past at top speed. He could not have stopped in time had we been approaching or in the crosswalk. Had he braked, he would have ploughed into us and thrown us into the air, and he would surely have slammed sideways into the facing traffic. At the very least, my dog would have been killed.

What is it that holds us back when we would've usually gone on? What is it that cautions us to hold our tongues when what we might've said would've been wrong? What is it that warns us not to take a turn in the road, in our life's journey, or any other instance when it seems quite clear to do so?

There are many, many references in the Bible to tell us it is not a question of "what", but "Who". I have chosen but two. Many scriptures state how He keeps us safe, how He has His angels to watch over and protect us. That's His job.

Ours is to not resist.

Prayer: Increase our awareness of Your presence in times of unseen danger. Help us hear Your voice and feel Your hand holding us back when we think we should go on. Remind us, Lord, that it is not "luck" or "good fortune", but You who is guiding us. May we, in return, graciously give You our thanks. In Your name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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