Pickle Heaven Press-James R. Johnson

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automotive distancing — October 7, 2020

automotive distancing

I believe in automotive distancing as in, “Hey buddy, I can do without the tailgating.”  

Twas, on a Saturday night in Dallas that it became a problem.  The evening started well.  The leader of the singles group led us in study of Psalm 139. 

I was new to the faith, but I had a voracious appetite for God’s Word.  David the author tried in his small way to explain God’s great way. He wrote, “O Lord, you examine me and know me.”  (verse 1) That’s powerful!  I’m not even sure I know myself much of the time. 

He explained, “You know when I sit down and when I get up; even from far away you understand my motives.  You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest; you are aware of everything I do.   “Certainly my tongue does not frame a word without you, O Lord, being thoroughly aware of it.”   (139:2-4)

Such things can only be said of a God who is all the time everywhere; awesome in power and is all knowing.  Theologians call this His omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience. 

Then David said in verse 5 “You squeeze me in from behind and in front; you place your hand on me.”   He spoke as if God used a Star Trek like force field, that preceded and followed him.  So, God surrounds us to protect us.  I was genuinely awed as I mulled this over.

I drove a borrowed car that night – a bright new yellow Camaro convertible.  Hey, it was a singles fellowship – I wanted to impress the girls. 

On the way home, I pulled up beside a mobile beer bash.  The light changed and I moved on, but they didn’t.  The driver waited until I was about 30 yards ahead.  He stomped the gas pedal until he was inches from my bumper and then screeched to a stop.

I was confused and stunned, but then he did it again and a third time.  His next move was to pull in front of me and slow down.  We were almost bumper to bumper when he locked his brakes again.

He was trying to scare me and it was working.  But I was angry too. If I had been in my $100 clunker of a car, we might have met, in an automotive kind of way.   Did I mention that I was a new Christian? 

He was behind me again and ready to make another run.  And do you know what was going through my mind?  “God how far before and behind me do you go, and does it include the length of this car?” 

In those days I tended to literally interpret the Bible – I still do, mostly because God literally fulfills what He has written, including His promise of protection.

I did a mission trip in Mexico and during that one week God kept my team and me through an earthquake, a volcanic eruption and a street gang.  At another time, our team barely escaped some angry Haitians who were waiting in the dark to stone us. 

His protective care is not always so sensational and yet still appreciated. 

I think of a friend who had met his deductible on his health insurance – so on a whim he decided to have a battery of health tests done.

They indicated that he was already dead or at least close.  His arteries were almost completely occluded.  There should have been great pain to warn him, but there wasn’t, but because of the tests he was able to have surgery before the widow maker hit.  That was God at work.

Now I know that we are not going to live forever in these bodies.  But God will keep us temporally secure until the day He chooses to eternally secure us in heaven.

In the meantime, if you belong to Him – then go with God.  Relax a little as He takes the point AND brings up the rear. 

Oh, and as to my distancing problem – at the very time I prayed, I came upon a well-lit convenience store with a pay phone in front of it.  (a pay phone – now that’s a miracle) 

I whipped the car in, did some brake stomping of my own and grabbed the phone – and they fled the scene.  Thank You Lord!

A PRAYER: Lord I am not courageous enough to face life alone.  Please go before and behind me and open my eyes to see the ways in which You are protecting me

All Scripture is quoted from the NET Bible ®

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