Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place -- the Most High, who is my refuge -- no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. Psalm 91:9-12
Dragnet's Sergeant Joe Friday used to say, "Just the facts. Just the facts."
Indeed, that's the way most police officers look at things. Since they often have to justify their actions in court, they work hard at not allowing emotions and personal opinion to influence them.
I share that observation to emphasize some remarks that were recently made by Dayton's Sergeant Michael Pauley. Reflecting on a recent crime, Sergeant Pauley said to the news, "There was obviously some kind of intervention involved in this incident because he probably should not be here."
The "he" Sergeant Pauley was talking about is 49-year-old Rickey Wagoner, an Ohio bus driver.
Mr. Wagoner's bus was having some trouble and ended up dying. He managed to pull the vehicle to the side of the road and began to try and fix the problem. That was when a gang of toughs walked up to him, shot him twice in the heart, once in the leg, and stabbed him in the arm.
Yup, Mr. Wagoner shouldn't be here. But he is.
That's because those two bullets intended for his heart never made it. They were stopped cold by a pocket Bible Mr. Wagoner was carrying. Although the leg shot and the stab wound called for his hospitalization, there is every expectation that Mr. Wagoner is going to survive.
An obvious case of divine intervention? Absolutely!
Most of you are probably saying: "Yup, the Lord sure is smiling on that Ohio bus driver."
I agree. But I also think the Lord's intervention is not reserved for Mr. Wagoner. It is for all of us as well.
Unfortunately, most of us don't see the many examples of that intervention.
We never think of the cancer cells which never multiplied or the car accident which never happened. Parents don't often say prayers giving thanks for birth defects, which didn't materialize and most of us don't acknowledge God's hand when we don't get the flu.
Truth is, every day the Lord protects us from uncounted accidents, plagues, pestilence, unfortunate circumstances, and disastrous situations. Our guardian angels must be putting in some serious overtime as they try to keep us safe.
We shouldn't be surprised. The Lord who gave His only Son to win our forgiveness and salvation isn't likely to stop with that eternity-changing act of compassion and care. No, God's love and blessings continue on each day. Five centuries ago, Luther summed it up by saying the Lord gives us all we need "to support this body and life." Oh, the great reformer also told us that in response, we should "thank and praise, serve and obey Him."
And that, my friends, are the facts.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have not only saved my soul, but You are continuously protecting my physical self as well. May I give thanks for all Your blessings, both seen and unseen. In the Savior's Name, I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries