Ezra 5:3-5 [Governor] Tattenai soon arrived in Jerusalem and asked, “Who gave you permission to rebuild this Temple? . . . But because God was watching over them, the Jews were not prevented from building.
The first few chapters of Ezra describe Zerubbabel and Jeshua’s challenges and successes as they led the small remnant of Jews in Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple that had been destroyed seventy years before. We wouldn’t know this story if Ezra hadn’t come along fifty-some years later and written it down. We would have missed an important link in the chain of God’s relationship with his people.
Reading Ezra has encouraged me these days in my own efforts to record what I know from Karis’s journals and have experienced myself of God watching over our family even through our toughest times. Here’s an example, a very simple one but it had great impact for me:
I was keeping vigil at Karis’s bedside during a time when, because of bleeding and seizures caused by overdose of one of her medications, she wasn’t mentally occupying the same reality the rest of us were in touch with. I was hungry, but even more exhausted than hungry. The idea of walking down to the hospital cafeteria and standing in line and having to choose what to eat all seemed like too much effort.
I was thinking about this, not even actually verbalizing it to the Lord, when there was a knock on the door and a nurse walked in with a tray of food. “This patient was already discharged and the food will just be thrown away. I thought maybe . . .?”
The nurse was actually embarrassed about offering this to me, as if I might be offended. But she was even more discomfited by the tears that sprang to my eyes. She said, “Don’t tell anyone. I’m not actually supposed to do this.”
Several more times during that hospitalization when that nurse was on duty, trays of food “mysteriously” appeared in Karis’s room that Karis, of course, couldn’t eat. (But please don’t tell anyone.)
God was watching over me in such a precious, personal way. And I have no doubt he is watching over you too. So here’s a little challenge for you:
Between now and Thanksgiving, write down a story about God caring for you. And on Thanksgiving Day, share that story with someone.
If you like, you can send your story to me for this blog. I would love to share a dozen stories of God watching over us.