Hedged In

I could be dead right now. The whole thing seemed like a fluke.

One day last week I heard a funny sound coming from my refrigerator. I opened the doors and peeked inside; everything looked OK, so I didn’t think anything about it. A few days later when I walked to my washing machine in the basement, I noticed a puddle on the floor, just below the refrigerator area upstairs. I looked up and saw the floor joists were wet and dripping. Why had I not seen water pooling in my kitchen?

I called our plumber who determined that there was no problem from the water supply to the refrigerator; the problem was in the fridge and not his department. He did notice that the water had dripped backwards, toward the wall, and not out in from of the refrigerator. He turned off the water supply to stop the leaking and I called the appliance repairman. Problem solved and soon to be repaired.

I was telling my neighbor Dave (I usually call him “Good Neighbor Dave” because he has such a heart for everybody and their woes) about my leaking refrigerator.

“I’ll come by in a few minutes and check it out,” he offered.

“No problem, the plumber turned the water supply to fridge off and the repairman is coming this week.” I didn’t want to bother him and besides, I had everything under control. I like to take control of things; it reassures me if I’m doing my own problem solving.

“Never mind. I’m coming over anyway.” Dave’s a dear and if he wanted to check things out, fine with me. But I really had things under control.

A few minutes later, Dave stood on a chair, felt the joists, and peered at crevices with a flashlight. Suddenly, the hanging fluorescent light just in front of him blinked out. He touched the metal hood over the long light bulbs and announced, “It’s hot and arcing. Don’t you hear it?” Yes, but that sound didn’t mean anything to me.

“What about the smell? Don’t you smell it?” he asked

“What smell?”

He unplugged the light, removed it from the chain hangers and water flowed out of it. Talk about clueless! I had no idea I was that close to just one spark setting off an electrical fire throughout my basement. Talk about Russian roulette! Dave and I stared at each other and said in unison, “Thank you God.”

Being Dave, he had to dissect the thing and he returned an hour later to show me the charred wire under the metal housing. We sat and talked.

“I was thinking that a lot of people would think this was just a coincidence that I happened to find this. But it’s so clear to me that God arranged it,” he said.

I agreed.

I used to believe life was chock full of random incidents. I imagined a box of marbles being tilted this way and that so the colored little orbs would bounce off one another with no rhyme or reason. That’s how I thought things happened in life. I believed in God but couldn’t imagine the Creator of the Universe stepping into my puny life – a life among millions and since the earth’s creation, a life among gazillions. I figured I was just supposed to follow the rules, the Ten Commandments, and depending on how I did, it was heaven or hell for me. Doesn’t sound like a God one would want to get too close to.

And so I didn’t, until several incidents occurred in my life when coincidence or chance could not account for what happened. I began to see a loving pattern, and a long journey later, came to a place where I knew beyond a doubt Dave’s assessment was correct.

I believe God has a way of using his people to build a hedge of protection and love around each person he created. There are no coincidences and even when horrible things happen, God is still there, loving and caring.

When my husband was critically ill out of state, and things seemed to go from bad to worse daily, I felt the hand of God whenever a friend called from home to ask how he was doing and to pray with me. And it was the perfect friend – the one who had a certain expertise or wisdom I needed at that particular moment.

Now I know something will kill me someday, but not an electrical fire right now – thanks to God and his servant Dave. I know God surrounds me with love and protection. He is sovereign. I am not, come to find out, in control of anything. But he is – thank God.

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