Three Seconds of Grace

“The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”(Proverbs 16:9)

One night a couple of years ago, I was getting off work. It was about 9:00 p.m. and after putting everything away at my desk, I grabbed my briefcase and stood up with keys in hand. With one last glance, I noticed I’d left my notebook out. How did I miss that? I had to stop and put my briefcase down again and put the notebook away in my drawer. I remember being aggravated by this stupid little inconvenience because I was ready to go. It took three seconds, but at that time of night, even a three-second delay was an annoyance. I regathered my stuff and was out the door headed home.

Approaching the first intersection, I was happy to see the light was green. I’d be home in no time. But then my peace was shattered.

I was maybe 150 feet from the intersection, and a speeding car with headlights off blasted through the intersection from my left, running a red light at about 60 mph. It literally took my breath away.

It was so close. I was so close!

And at that moment when I sat alone, stopped in my car, I had just one thought: three seconds of grace. An insignificant little thing that had already left my mind was now back — that three-second delay of having to put my notebook away. What if I’d been three-seconds closer to the intersection — IN the intersection — when that car blew through? Would I be writing this today?

My annoyance had been God’s plan. Well, not that I be annoyed, but that I be delayed. I had been aggravated that my plan had been disrupted, but all the while, God knew better. And that is always the case.

We don’t always know why things happen; why someone loses a job; why an illness strikes; or why life sometimes seems harder than we bargained for. But we can trust that it’s for a reason. Everything, even life’s inconveniences, are part of the plan. Trials result in lessons learned and faith tested. It’s all for a reason that we don’t yet know — and may never know.

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