I dropped my mom off at the front door of the doctor's building. I was then off in search of an empty spot in the crowded parking lot. After driving in circles I finally found a spot. I put the gear shift in park but stopped short of opening my door. I was dreading the walk in the pouring rain to the doctor's building. What a day to forget my umbrella.
I would just wait until it let up. Christian music played over the radio. It's always amazing how music can set our soul into a rhythm of thanksgiving. Our Lord always seems to give us the quiet time we need. One way or the other. It's our choice if we see it and capture those moments in prayer. This time I seen the opportunity and let my prayers escape like the rains falling around me.
I seen the sky giving way to a little sunshine. It was now my chance to make my way inside and escape being soaked through. I stepped around my vehicle and started making my way through the parking lot when a truck stopped in front of me.
I see the tires stop as I hear the words, "Could you help us?" I look up with a smile. I start to step, but my feet won't move. I hear a voice within me say, "Don't step toward that truck." What in the world? It's an older couple who is asking for my help. They want to hand me a piece of paper. They are asking me where the cancer center is. Strangely it's right in front of us. Big letters on the sign not far from us and the words Cancer Center are highlighted on the building next to us. There are only two buildings. Something is just not right.
Now, all of this is taking place in just a few short minutes. My heart is churning inside. Here I am standing in front of this truck and my heart is wanting to reach out and take this paper, but again my feet will not budge. I hear the voice again as I try to step closer. "Do not step toward this truck." Three times this happened. Each time more pronounced and guarded.
During these few moments I was arguing with this voice. "What? It's only an older couple. I have to help them. What could possibly happen?" I was going back and forth in my thoughts, but my feet never took a step. It wasn't because I was being obedient. I was listening, but I too was arguing in the stillness of my steps.
I never took a step forward. I guided the couple to where they needed to be. Strangely, they still seemed confused about where to go. I now take a step back. I am feeling this presence around me, protection, guiding, and now I heed His voice. No more arguing. Something is just off here. You know, that unsettling feeling in your gut? But again, it's an older couple.
I know, three times, right? As I now ponder this my heart goes back to Peter. Why did it take me three times to seriously heed God's voice? Praise to Him for knowing His stubborn daughter so well!
I make my way inside to see my mom has safely made her way to where she needed to be for her appointment. She's called into the doctor's office and I break out my book and prepare to enjoy a few quiet moments of reading. I can't focus on my book because my mind is churning over what just happened. How strange. That had never happened to me before. To have my feet planted firmly and as I try to step a powerful strength holds me back.
I can tell you as sure as I can be this was the Lord's protection. I felt His hand upon me. Now, I have no idea what He was protecting me from. It could have been danger in the way of being robbed or abducted. What I can't possible understand, He made a way. God foreseen this moment and He was there in full force to protect me. Maybe it was a dangerous virus that could have made me very ill. After all, He has to know I'm the daughter who easily catches everything.
All I know is that in those few moments He kept me from danger. I could have kept arguing with Him, thinking all was okay and that it was craziness to think something could happen right there in the parking lot. Whatever it was, He knew my steps and He was there before me. Just in that alone I know I am loved and I am known!! My God goes before me, His presence surrounds me, and His protection covers me.
I learned that morning to walk aware, to listen to His voice, and to heed my God. How many times have we told our children to be aware, to listen to that gut feeling inside of us? We teach our grandchildren that danger doesn't always look bad. There are people around us that look just like us, but they have bad intentions. I always teach my grandchildren it is perfectly okay to offend another person. If something scares them RUN!! But here I was arguing with my own heart. I couldn't see the danger. I still have no idea what it could have been, but my God knows!
He is my force field of protection! My Jesus was there in those moments protecting me. Why me? Why not me? What if this couple was up to no good and they stopped someone totally unaware? I didn't see them as a threat, but something was not right or my God would not have guarded me so powerfully.
I'm uncertain of what could have taken place if I had not heeded God's voice. Friends, we need to walk aware. Every moment of our lives we need to be aware of His voice. There are so many lessons here for me to absorb. Lessons of listening to my Lord, lessons of how Satan is always placing traps around us, to not being afraid to offend another person by guarding myself.
Today I am walking differently. I'm walking more aware and I too am walking with a grateful heart for a God who goes before my steps. He goes far beyond just knowing. He reaches down and places His hand before me. I have to ponder how many times I have ignored His voice and pushed away His hand. That thought breaks my heart. I want to be an obedient daughter, aware of His every voice, never again ignoring Him and thinking I know best.
Here in this parking lot He wasn't having any of my stubbornness. He stepped before me and placed a hedge of protection around me. He was making sure I heard Him. Another reminder for me to keep my eyes upon Him and seek Him before my every step.
"You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance." Psalm 32:7