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.
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Here’s a God watching over me story:
One night I had a bad nightmare. The next morning, I went running with a friend with whom I regularly exercise. We were halfway up a hill at Frick Park and we were discussing my dream when I stumbled, hit the ground hard, bounced a few times, and my car key and cell phone went flying out of my hands. I got up rather stunned and grabbed my phone but completely forgot about my car key. I limped back to my car, bleeding, and then realized I didn’t have the key. My friend had to leave for work so I walked back down the path to look for the key but couldn’t quite locate the place I fell and didn’t see the key anywhere. I was so grateful I had my phone and could call an uber to get me home and for simple things like antibacterial lotion and band aids. My husband and I went back by the park that evening to pick up the car with his key and we discussed spending about $250.00 to buy a new electronic key fob once we got back from vacation. We were leaving in a couple days.
Two days into vacation my husband pulls up to our rental house, gets out of the car, walks around to the windshield wiper and pulls out something that was stuck there. It’s the key! Someone must have found it at the park, used it to identify the car, and instead of driving away with the car simply tucked it there for us to find! Meanwhile, that conversation with my friend also helped me work through what my nightmare was about and I didn’t have that dream again. These extraordinary displays of human kindness remind me of the loving heart of God toward me.
Rachel Kornfield Becker
Therapist and Training Program Manager Confidential email: email@example.com Confidential cell: 412-609-0448 (call or text)
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Thank you, Rachel. I just copied your story into a regular post so more people will see it.
God cares. Psalm 121 starts out “I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?” The Psalmist is clearly in trouble. He’s looking for help, somewhat desperately. In the remaining seven verses of the Psalm, the phrase “he who watches over you” or a similar phrase are repeated five times! Sometimes we may feel like we have to look for help or look for God. Little do we know that he’s looking much more than we are! Looking out for us!
Last week I badly wanted something in the ministry. It was taken away from me. Something else was offered. While I really wasn’t happy with what was offered, by the end of the week I realized that what was offered was a far better fit for my calling than what I had so much wanted. I wanted something, BUT GOD… God watched over me and kept me from something I wanted because He knew that what I really needed was something else entirely. Thank You, God!