After finishing a long week at work and virtual school for the girls, I was ready to kick off an extended weekend and celebrate my birthday. I had planned different things to do and foods (and desserts) to eat strategically throughout the next four days to mark another year of life.
Friday night, I planned to go to my church’s drive-by Harvest event for the children in our church. Due to COVID concerns with Halloween, our church wanted to provide a safe environment for the young people to celebrate.
I was running behind due to work and sent the Children’s Ministry team a quick note letting them know. Then downstairs I heard my daughter calling me, as my aunt stopped by for a visit.
When I came down, she mentioned that she smelled gas in the house. I couldn’t smell anything but chalked it up to one of the girls cooking something on the stove. Kennedi just got her permit the day before and asked if she could go driving with my aunt, so they headed out and I went back upstairs to finish working.
When they returned, Kennedi called me back downstairs again. She smelled the gas too, and my Aunt Chris had a concerned look on her face. I walked around and sniffed harder, but everything smelled normal to me. After my aunt left, I went to shut my laptop down and planned to head over to the church, while Kennedi prepped to start cooking dinner.
My mind went back to an appointment earlier in the week for my washing machine. The technician mentioned a smell of gas when he entered our house. He had to go outside and get something and came back inside the house and mentioned the smell again. I was anxious to get my appliance working again, and because I didn’t smell anything, I left it alone. No one else in the house mentioned the smell of gas, so I didn’t think much of it.
As I sat at my desk, I considered blowing it off again, but then I reconsidered, especially given that this happened twice in one week. I remembered that my natural gas company had a section on their website for suspected leaks. I pulled the site up and called the number listed and explained what happened.
They advised us to leave the house and not touch anything, not even a light switch. They were sending an emergency technician to investigate. I advised the girls to get their coats and go outside. We got in the car and pulled away from the house (which I later learned was unsafe to do) and drove onto our street to wait. I called Kenny to let him know what was going on, and he advised that he was on the way.
I want to get to today’s lesson so I’ll make a long story short – we had a leak that was noticeable as soon as the technician and Kenny walked into the kitchen, and the fire department was called. Gas was turned off to the house, the gas was cleared from our home, and the source of the leak was identified. Our lives were spared that night; God turned the death angel away.
As I sat in the car while everything was transpiring, I thought to this week’s Play Prediction. Every morning during my prayer time, I ask the Lord to order my steps. When I pray this, I’m asking him to direct everything that happens, each step I take, and each decision I make. And I truly believe his ordering of my steps is why I’m here today to share my story.
When I trace back my path – and His ordering of my steps – to this moment in time:
- We invited my aunt to live with us back in March during the start of the pandemic as she recovered from a medical illness. She stayed with us for a little over three months and we taught her healthier ways to cook her food, which brought improvement to her condition. Because of our kindness, she stopped by Friday to secretly drop off a birthday gift for me – new pans to cook with.
- We had been trying to get the repair man to come out and fix the washing machine for over a week. Although I was irritated that it took so long to get the appointment, I now realize it was in God’s timing, as he would be the first warning for the gas leak.
- Kennedi turned sixteen almost a month earlier, but the driving school was backed up for appointments, so it wasn’t until three weeks after her birthday that she finally received her permit, the day before my aunt came over. And after my aunt took Kennedi out driving – they both were adamant about the smell of gas.
- If my aunt hadn’t stopped by, and if they hadn’t gone on their drive, Kennedi would have started cooking before the leak was discovered – using both the stove and the oven for her meal.
So many what-ifs in this story, and I refuse to believe anything that happened was a coincidence. Each and every instance was a step ordered. Because I asked God to order them and because I made a decision to acknowledge Him with my actions and in my life.
God ordering my steps also means no more procrastinating and putting off things when I feel an urge to do something or call someone. I don’t chalk anything up to coincidences anymore. If there is something for me to do, God will direct my path, and I must follow.
When we wonder why certain things are happening in our lives, and why other things are delayed, it’s important that we trust God, even when we don’t understand. This is actually the preceding verse to our Play Prediction:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 NKJV
These verses go hand-in-hand – First, we trust God. Then, we resist drawing our own faulty conclusions about our situation. Next, we acknowledge the Lord in everything we do. Finally, we allow Him to direct our way.
And the final lesson for today – if anyone ever says they smell gas, call the gas emergency line or 911. Better to be safe than…
May God bless and keep you.
Reflect over your life – can you point out areas where God has directed your path? Or have you believed all this time that it was a coincidence?
If there is a path or direction that you are unsure of taking, won’t you follow today’s Play Prediction and acknowledge God in your life and actions, and allow Him to direct the path you should follow?
Feel free to respond in the comments section… and share this story with someone in your life that could use the encouragement.
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