The LORD will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8
It is my hope that you regularly give thanks to the Lord that His benevolent hand keeps you safe from the multitude of bad things which could happen to you, but don't. And if you're wondering what kind of bad things? I would reply all kinds of bad things, bad things which are almost impossible, bad things which are unimaginable, bad things whose odds are so small they can hardly be calculated.
And to that you might say, "This sounds silly. Can you give me an example?"
To which I respond: be glad to. Let me begin this way: Pam and I have many good friends in North Carolina; the Daily Devotions have many subscribers in the Tar Heel State. We are glad that you, and North Carolina, are still with us. I say that, because in 1961, we almost lost you. That happened when a bomber broke apart over North Carolina and dropped two nuclear bombs in the area around Goldsboro.
One of the bombs had completed five of the six steps needed for detonation. The other bomb completed all of the steps necessary to go off, but it didn't. Why? Because its parachute didn't open, and the switches that were needed to set off the blast were damaged in the fall. In both cases, the bombs, each of which was 250 times more powerful than that which destroyed Hiroshima, didn't go off.
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara commented: "By the slightest margin of chance, literally the failure of two wires to cross, a nuclear explosion was averted."
So there you have it. Other than this small, but very important addition, what Robert McNamara calls, "the slightest margin of chance," I call the benevolent hand of God.
Now I would not have you believe that a nuclear weapon falling from the sky is a normal thing. It isn't. The fact that it is an uncommon occurrence is what makes it newsworthy. Even so, every day, there are millions of terrible things which could happen to us, but don't. And they don't happen because the Lord who loves us has prevented their occurrence.
Indeed, the Lord who sent His Son to forgive our sins and save our souls is continuously watching over and preserving us. Even in the days before atomic bombs, Luther knew this to be true. That is why he wrote:
"... I believe that God ... richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. This is most certainly true."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is most certainly true that You love us, keep us, and save us. May we never forget all that we owe You and Your Son for His sacrifice. This we pray in His Name. Amen.
Lutheran Hour Ministries has always stood for bringing Christ to the Nations, but we also want to share the Savior with those who are close by. If you would like to know more about how you can be prepared to bear witness to the Savior, we are having an outreach conference called SENT, in Detroit, from July 24 - July 27. You can learn more at www.lhm.org/conference.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries