LUCKY – or Give God the glory?
As you recount perilous times in your life that you went through, how do you describe it to others?
Assuming we can look back and see times where we had such a “close call” – and can see God’s intervention, do we give God the glory He deserves for answering prayer – or do we say things like, “Boy, were we ever LUCKY!” Or, “We sure dodged a bullet on that one”. I
In 2016, we had Hurricane Matthew – a Cat 3 that hugged the east coast of FL – when suddenly and unexpectedly, after much prayer, it hopped off eastward into the Atlantic 50 miles. Suddenly in the early morning hours. God spared Orange County/Orlando and millions of people. It was supposed to have 95-135 mph SUSTAINED winds for 12-14 hours and gusts higher than that. Our roofs and trees would not have survived. It was one of the most dramatic answers to prayer I’ve ever witnessed.
But after it was over, people were saying, “Boy, were we lucky!” I couldn’t help but jump in with a comment like “Luck had nothing to do with it. We had some powerful answer to earnest prayers going up. God saved us.” I was gratified to see a few signs up in front of people’s homes which said, “Thank you, God, for saving us.”
Then again, we just went through Irma. I can’t stand it when I hear people speak of being lucky. It wasn’t luck! People were beseeching our great God in heaven for days before. And we all watched as the forecasts and paths Irma was supposed to take, didn’t happen. God degraded Irma from what could have been a Cat 5 hurricane to hit FL – down to mostly Cat 2 for most of the state. I realize, many suffered through a Cat 3 and 4, but even then, a Cat 3 hurricane doesn’t begin to pack the wallop of a Cat 5 like the islanders went through.
God was with us. Those who have studied it carefully see how often this monster changed course and changed predictions. It could have been 50x worse in damages or more, if our great God hadn’t intervened. And THANK YOU to the thousands of you who prayed for us. YOUR PRAYERS WERE HEARD.
Click on “Continue reading” for important scriptures and points on this topic
Sure, happenstance does happen sometimes. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says so – “time and chance happens…” But are we refusing to bless God who causes things to happen so we’re in the proverbial “right place at the right time”? Or sees and knows what is about to happen and – sometimes – LETS them happen?
But those aren’t just time and chance events. I don't think my son died many years ago due to time and chance. I don’t believe that something that serious ever escaped Father’s foreknowledge or awareness or plan! He knew what he was doing and allowing, and knowing that, I have greater peace than thinking bad luck struck us that day.
Some of us in FL came through almost unscathed after Irma. Millions more, as I write this, are still without power or internet or services. Either way, our God in heaven knows all this and is working something out.
Instead of saying “luck” – say “blessed”. Say “protected”. Say “God saved us”. Some claim that the word “luck” can be traced to the name Lucifer. If there’s any truth to that, then let’s ban the word “luck” from our speech. Almighty God, our very own heavenly Daddy, knows the number of hairs on our head. How could he possibly just let terrible things happen to you by chance? I don’t believe that is the case.
So many things we think are just happenstance, we’ll find out someday were not. Our Father was sending guardian angels to watch over you and us. I know he sure did in the hurricane Irma. I kept telling people on Facebook to THANK HIM even IN this storm and even FOR this storm. I wasn’t being crazy. He knows what he’s doing. After all, scripture says to thank him “IN ALL things” and “FOR all things, give thanks”.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, IN everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Ephesians 5:20-21 “giving thanks always FOR all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
When it was all said and done, sure, it was a dangerously rough storm, but honestly – apart from Miami, Keys, Naples, Tampa, and areas flooded in Jacksonville and a few other cities, it wasn’t nearly as bad for most of FL as the news might have you believe. For those areas that were hit hard, pray for them and help them, for they indeed have gone through a very severe trial and they DID get hit real hard. Some even died. Some will be without power for weeks. I get that and I am doing what I can to help and pray for these people.
So don’t misunderstand. All I’m saying, there’s a lot to be thankful for – and let’s stop saying “we dodged a bullet” or “we got lucky”. Truly God looked after us. After watching my magnolia tree in the back yard bend over in the hurricane to where it was almost touching the ground – and not break – I know God spared us! So many of us in our neighborhood did not lose a single shingle, never lost our power (though 6.5 million DID), not a single tree down, no flooding, no problem of any kind came to us.
God came through for us. We did not “dodge a bullet”. We were not “lucky”. No my friends, we were spared, we were saved, we were blessed by God Most High. I’m saying this even about people who did suffer some damage or were without power for days. All in all, if we’re alive, homes mostly intact, we are blessed. God was good, God is good.
Why did he work so many miracles and save so many? Because so many of you took the time to pray fervently for us and all Floridians. Thank you, thank you. God heard you. It wasn’t luck. God heard you!! And certainly WE were looking to Him throughout this test.
We were listening to a song called “Praise you in this storm” by Casting Crowns, plus reading Psalm 91 and Psalm 32. Many believe Moses was inspired to write Psalm 90 and 91.
Psalms 32:6-7 F”or this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him. YOU are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah “
GIVE GOD THE GLORY. So when we know we’ve been protected, when we know we’ve been the recipient of God’s favor and mercies – let’s speak up. Let’s GIVE GOD the GLORY. Speak up and say so. I’ve made a point to tell my neighbors what a great God in heaven we have – instead of saying how lucky we all were.
When a neighbor said “we were sure lucky” – I kindly said, “I’d like to feel God in heaven had a lot to do with the way things worked out for so many.” He thought about it, said nothing, but God’s word says when his word goes out, it’s like a seed that will someday take root and bear fruit.
Psalms 50:14-15 “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."
See the sequence? Call upon the living God in times of trouble. He delivers us. And we glorify Him (we don’t give glory to Luck!) I believe this too: in your storms of your life, pray hard for others; for their safety, for their blessing, for their protection. Pray for those suffering. And do something about it. I believe God is pleased with that and will bless YOU more for doing so.
If you wish to take more time studying more scriptures showing how involved our Father is in what happens to us, read these scriptures. And then give God the glory.
Psalm 91 – a great, great encouraging Psalm in tough times.