I love God’s intricate timing. Sometimes I end up late somewhere when I thought I’d left home in plenty of time, or I make an accidental wrong turn. Then later I learn my “mistake” kept me from a dangerous situation. In Psalm 37:23 we are told, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” When we commit our day to God, He’ll see that we’re always in the right place at the right time.
One bright, sunny 108° afternoon I went for a nice cool walk in the air-conditioned mall near my home. Walking my usual route, as I passed the entrance to Dillard’s department store, I noticed a pretty shirt I hadn’t seen before. “Lord,” I said, “if that would be a good thing for me, please remind me of it before I leave the mall.” I was almost to the escalator when I remembered the shirt, so I walked back to the store, grabbed one in each of two likely sizes, and proceeded to the fitting room.
Neither of them looked right. Surprised that God had drawn my eye to something, then reminded me to try it on, when I wouldn’t be able to use it, I hung the shirts back on the rack and headed to the mall exit. Outside the door, the air around me was brown. Dust. I was enveloped in dust. The air was perfectly still as if that dust was a natural part of the air.
As a new Arizona resident, I’d heard of the desert dust storms called haboobs, but had never experienced one. I walked to my car through the eerily still brown air. Just as I opened the door, the wind started. By the time I’d turned on the engine and fastened my seat belt, debris and palm tree parts were beginning to fly around me.
Still not realizing the severity of the storm, I drove out of the parking lot and turned onto the main street. It was like driving in a blizzard, except everything was brown instead of white, and the road wasn’t slippery. Visibility was limited, but I was on a familiar street and less than two miles from home. Then the rain came, and what a rain it was! Drops as big as quarters hit my windshield. Tiny hailstones pinged against my car.
When I arrived at the gate to my “park” (55+ gated community) the stoplight wasn’t working, due to a power outage. Rain continued to pour by the bucketful, and water rushed down the sides of the streets, but the wind had slowed down. I continued through the park, about a mile from the gate to my home, driving through rivers of water and around trees and piles of debris lying in the road.
When I arrived at my condo, I was thankful that unlike the stoplight at the entrance, my home — including my garage opener — had electricity. Safely home at last!
Later I learned I had driven through the edge of a haboob, which had been followed by a microburst. The microburst had torn through our park, knocking down trees and tearing apart all kinds of vegetation. It also ripped out two of my window screens, dumped over some large flowerpots on my patio, and tore one barrel from the barrel cactus in my front yard.
It was some time before I realized if I hadn’t stopped to try on those shirts, I would have been driving through the park right when debris was flying and trees were falling, instead of out on the main road where all I had to contend with was rain. “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Psalm 34:7). I had been protected from serious danger and safely delivered home. Once again I had experienced God’s goodness in everyday life.
Have you had a similar experience of protection due to God’s timing where you didn’t realize till later what had happened? I would love to hear about it.