And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Some of you are good in math. That's why I'm wondering if you can calculate the odds of the event that happened recently in Fort Worth, Texas.
The story begins with 24-year-old Jestin Anthony Joseph going into a Fort Worth McDonald's restaurant.
Joseph had been hearing voices in his head and wanted some money and a car so he could escape their mental nagging. That was why he pointed his gun at the restaurant's patrons and asked them to hand over their cash.
Joseph didn't wait for those people to respond.
No, he pointed his gun at them and pulled the trigger. Once, twice, three, four, at least five times he pulled that trigger. The gun did nothing. Frustrated, Joseph went out, pointed his pistol into the sky, and the gun fired: twice.
Quickly, Joseph raced back into the McDonald's and tried to continue with his holdup. He tried, but once again his gun wouldn't go off. It was too much to bear. He went out, took a shot at an oncoming car and the gun worked just fine. Yup, the gun went off, but the car wasn't hit.
So, what are the odds that a gun wouldn't fire, then fire, then not fire, then fire?
It has to be astronomical! Unbelievers might say, "Those McDonald's people ought to get down on their knees and say a prayer of thanks to ...." You might notice that an unbeliever's thank-you prayer is always left unfinished. That's because the unbeliever has no God, nobody to thank.
On the other hand, when we believers hear about such an event we not only can acknowledge the workings of the Lord's guardian angels, we can give sincere thanks for something which, well, which didn't happen.
Did that sound strange? More than likely.
Most often we praise the Lord for the things that have happened: He has healed us of an illness; He has brought back a son or daughter from the war; He sent His Son to give His life and save us from our sins.
But we also ought to give thanks for that which hasn't happened. You know ... the accident which never took place, the illness which didn't materialize, the job which continued on, the love of a spouse which spans decades, and the mass murder which never happened at a McDonald's in Fort Worth, Texas.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I give thanks for Your blessings, for the ones I know about and the ones which I never saw. Most of all I rejoice in the Savior who gave Himself so I would never experience the damnation my sins deserved. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries