National Anthem Jonathan Gladding

National Anthem, by Jonathan Gladding
Ever have the phone ring and the person on the other end was the friend you were fondly thinking of?  This morning that was the case! We laughed, giggled and then concurred that our relocation to Connecticut was indeed a good thing. It was apparent that God had once again orchestrated it all. All being inclusive of our move from Florida, the East Coast ministry trek, the new friendships (never negating the cord connecting us to our tried and true friends), the laudable community partnerships, our abounding appreciation and enthusiasm for love, life and what seems like some fatal challenges. Literally it felt like doors were slammed in our face when I thought we’d instead be embraced. Too many days it felt like a bad dream. Good decisions seemed to have gone awry. Prayer has keeping power friends. When yours seem limp, other’s who know the virtue and power of prayer can certainly cover you!
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20
I am grateful for how God allowed us to exert energy in preparation for our next level. It was as though we were spiritually matriculating. My heart must have been yelling, “New level, new level! So glad it’s our turn Lord!” Oh it’s no denying that we better not take credit for a step up or a door open. We are not that clever in raining down blessings! None of our life’s story could have been self imposed-crafted with our intellect or maneuvers.
We were approaching the 2013 Christmas season-Richard and I were traveling (several weeks ago) on the freeway. I was joyously anticipating visiting my Mama and Grandmother in Atlanta (really overdue for a visit). I knew I could not be there for Christmas but wanted to begin creating a festive atmosphere in their home. And then there was a hiccup, a startling interruption. The visible highway markers and signs indicated that Hartford’s Bradley Airport was just down the road, possibly 20 minutes away and I’d be boarding the plane momentarily.  And boom, a car wreck-a wreck that was startling! It caused us to fear, shutter, scream, and wonder if this was our end, dying on the interstate. The result totaled our minivan and the offender’s compact car.  The small Volkswagen merging in the lane we traveled was all wrong! I don’t know what the driver’s problem was but it was terrible timing! And then it all became surreal, a seemingly slow motion video. The cars colliding, the metal crumpling, the axles braking, the front end torn up, the shock, the disbelief and there we were in the midst! But, Great God the three coiled guard rails sustained the impact of our van! It seems we bounced against the sturdy coils and Richard’s hands held tight to the steering wheel. And the saving grace was the coils appeared to nestle the Volkswagen from diving into the ditch or back into the oncoming traffic. Oh it could have been fatal with the loss of life or injuries, but here we are on this side of a new year, January 2014 alive-well! No broken bones, no fatalities!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Yes, mayhem occurred and we survived it all! God kept us! What a miracle.
Often our lives reflect that we’ve been banged up, crippled even. Folks think you’re in a daze still suffering from shock. Oh, but our gracious Lord and Savior allows us to survive an atrocity, a humiliation, a setback causing us to feel as though we’re abandoned, standing on the side of the road. Be confident that divine  help is on the way, even if it’s unsuspecting.
Next time you’re on life’s highway think of the coiled guard rails, the helping hands, sound advice, friendly stranger, the answer to prayer as a safety net! Think of it as a safety net representing the Father, Son and Holy Ghost-protecting us, cushioning the blow during startling incidences. Notice I did not say ACCIDENT? Our Heavenly Father causes no accidents, but saves us on countless occasions. I know you recall His rescuing mission, you! Take a moment and just reflect on your 2013 journey, incredible right? We are now very familiar, well acquainted with the realization that God’s mighty outstretched arm protects us!  Thankfully He beautifully ushers us from one season into the next. The year 2013 brought about new developments, uncertainties, new transitions, new relationships, but definitely a firsthand account of His love! Can I get a witness?
Breathe, look up and live. Buckle up friends it’s time for thanksgiving adoration and without a doubt it’s time to embrace a faith filled 2014! Happy New Year!
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,” Ephesians 3:16-18 (NIV)
Transformed by the Love of God, Linda Mose Meadows; Blogger, Motivational Speaker and Inspirational Author of: Destined To Receive: Reflections and Devotionals Celebrating The Love of God (Createspace, 2013) and Blessedness of Believing  A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises (Tate Publishing, 2007)