Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Living

I left the Blue Ridge Mts. Christian Writers Conference yesterday morning expecting to spend about 9 hours driving. Now, many of you will realize that driving nine hours, alone, on major highways, during holiday weekend traffic is not one of my favorite things. [Not like rain drops on roses and whiskers on ... never mind.] I got off to a late start, sat in traffic, took a twenty mile detour -- at 5 miles an hour, sat in more traffic, and then again, finally arriving home after more than 12 hours of straight driving (okay, I did stop for gas and the facilities).

That sounds like complaining, I know, but let me tell you why it's not.
I did not know why I sat in traffic, but it gave me time to read my "car Bible" (the beat up old NIV I keep in the car for traffic jams). I opened to Isaiah 38... verses 17-19 jumped out at me, "Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In Your love You kept me from the pit of destruction...For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise... The living, the living -- they praise you as I am doing today" When the traffic started slowly moving I found a Christian radio station and sang along to the old gospel hymns. Surely this was for my benefit, this detour, this long drive, this suffering, and I would try to praise Him.

As I listened to the radio announcer I learned the reason for the detour. A southbound driver ran across the median in to the northbound lanes causing a fatal accident that killed at least four people, in the spot, at the time I would have been there if I hadn't gotten a late start.
... I passed two more fresh accident scenes on my long drive, the details of which I do not know. What I do know is that God's love kept me safe the whole way home. I thank God that I drove twelve hours yesterday -- I might have driven only two. I am among the Living. And the living praise God, as I am doing today.

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