In the giving and the taking…

It was a perfect day.
All together as a family, we loaded the three kids into their carseats and Daniel pulled the truck and trailer out onto the road. Behind us, our house gleamed under its new roof. The old, tired shingles piled into the dump trailer were at last on their way to the dump.

We had just finished a lovely weekend with the youth from our church, hearing about faith, and learning more of the beauty of this God of ours. I was struck with the security that my relationship with God is not dependent on MY faith, but the GIVER of faith. Everything comes back to God.
Such a safe place…

Just three miles from home we started down the hill, and the trailer started wobbling.
My very capable driver husband just said, “Oh no…” and reached for the trailer brakes.
In a few eternally long, silent moments except for screeching of the tires,
the trailer swung us completely out of control.


As it pushed us across the left lane, Daniel I both prayed, “Jesus! Help us!”
We flew down the steep embankment, into a tree,
and came to rest the ditch facing the direction we had come.
Daniel and I instantly looked back at the children.
They were ashen faced, but perfectly fine.


I could see the hood was entirely crumpled, but the truck still drove, so Daniel pulled forward about 30 feet where it was almost level, and then we got out to see the damages.
We knew we had just witnessed a series of miracles.
There had been three oncoming vehicles, and if the first one wouldn’t have seen our trailer starting to fishtail and slowed to a stop, we would have creamed them on our way across the road.
The speed that we left the road at should have done much, much more damage
than what the truck, or our little family actually experienced at impact.
The trooper and EMS all shook their heads, “Don’t know what kept that truck from rolling.”

We all could have died.


But as Daniel picked up the shingles strewn across the roadside, he found himself singing,
(yes, SINGING!)

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,
Let me walk upon the waters,
Wherever you would call me,
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.”
(Hillsong United)

Last night we were looking online at other wrecked trucks that could have the parts we need.
Suddenly I was struck with the realization we could be looking at coffins instead.
Metal and rubber can be replaced.
People cannot.

The skid marks are long. The trailer flipped upside down and dug long deep gouges into the pavement.
And yet, here we were, all completely fine, except for a few sore muscles.
What could have been a grand entrance to heaven for our little family instead
became a moment of seeing God’s hand.
A blatant miracle.
What we believe satan meant to be a horrible accident,
has become a platform of praise.


In the recent weeks, the news has been so troubling to me.
The killings, the brutality, the innocent lives snuffed out in the face of cold heartlessness.
One picture I saw that haunted me, endlessly. A beheaded child.
I felt sick for the rest of the day.
I kept pulling my littles closer to me, and feeling this fear wrap its vice-like fingers around my heart.

Would I be faithful in the face of such horror?
Would I still trust if I had to see such gruesome acts?
My husband reminded me that fear is the enemy’s tool.
But I couldn’t shake it. This cold knot in my stomach. I’d try to forget, but it was always there,
lurking in the corner.
Would I, would you, still cling to God if He allowed those nearest and dearest to us
to be butchered before our very eyes?

I remember Job, sitting in the ashes, his wife and friends mocking the very character of God.
I know his heart must have been shattered in a million pieces around him,
just like the broken pottery he used to scrape his rotting flesh.
The pain. The loss. The horror. It just blows my mind.
But there in that place of absolute devastation, he uttered,
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

I think of the story in John 6, where many turned away from following Jesus.
He asked one of the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
and Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know,
that you are the Holy One of God.”
He is the very essence of life.


But God knows the number of our days.
He knows the end of our story.
As we spun across the road, and as that mother in Iraq wails over her child, God was there.
Holding. Carrying. Sometimes sparing, sometimes not.

He gives and and He takes away.

And here in this place of leaning on Him, we find security beyond reason and peace in all moments.
It is here that we say,
“Blessed be the name of the Lord.”


5 thoughts on “In the giving and the taking…

  1. So thankful you and yours are safe! The past few weeks have been a nightmare for our family, but what peace there is in knowing that God is in control and by our side!

  2. I can’t even say how thankful I am that y’all are all safe and sound. Isn’t it beautiful how God uses these situations to help us trust Him even more? Melissa, you have such a way with words…

  3. What a deep theme, Melissa. Thanks for sharing. I thank God for His mercy on your dear family. My heart, too, has been agonizing with those in Iraq and Syria who are facing the worst kinds of brutality. My mind goes back to the song: “..take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior “.

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