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A Close Call

May 29, 2015

A Close Call
the yesHEis blog
Fiona Cameron

“I too, could have suffered like that poor person if God hadn’t spared me from that misfortune”

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “There but for the grace of God go I”?

It’s a bit old fashioned perhaps, but people may often think it or even say it when they see someone suffering some kind of consequences that could just have easily occurred to themselves – but didn’t. It basically means, “I too could have suffered like that poor person if God hadn’t spared me from that misfortune”, and there is a good reason people have felt that way.

Have you ever had a close call? You know, a true, personal story where something tragic almost happened, but was avoided my minutes or maybe just seconds, or because you turned left instead of right, or because you took the car instead of the bus.

Rob Herzog was normally in his office by 8.45am but on September 11, 2001 his normal express train was too crowded so he caught an all stops train to work instead and was running a few minutes late. By 8.46am the first plane had ploughed through his office on the 96th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Centre.

United Airlines flight attendant Elise O’Kane had a fairly usual flight schedule that saw her work with the same people quite often, but a typing error saw her accidently transverse some numbers and she scheduled the wrong routes for a number of her flights. She managed to change the requests and re-book her normal schedule for all but one route, United Airlines flight 175 on September 11. When she tried to re-book this flight her computer froze and she missed the request deadline by 1 minute. Not one but two close calls that saved her life.

Whether they are little events or huge ones, chances are we’ve all had them, but most of the time we never even know it.

Greer Epstein worked on the 67th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Centre and never took a break before midday, but on 9/11 a friend asked her to take a cigarette break a little before 9am – just minutes before the second plane hit her office tower.

Whether they are little events or huge ones, chances are we’ve all had them, but most of the time we never even know it.

While some people may write them off as simple luck or happenstance, many who have experienced life threatening close calls say they believe someone was watching over them. Whether that is God Himself or a guardian angel sent on His behalf, there is great comfort in knowing that He cares so much about us.

I often think of the heavens your hands have made, and of the moon and stars you put in place. Then I ask, “Why do you care about us humans? Why are you concerned for us weaklings?” You made us a little lower than you yourself, and you have crowned us with glory and honour. Psalm 8:3-5

So why was Rob’s usual train so over-crowded that day of all days? Why did Elise’s computer freeze right when she was trying to book Flight 175?

Those who follow Jesus know that God is sovereign over everything and that there are no co-incidences. He can, and does, frequently intervene in our lives – yes because He loves us but primarily if it will advance His Kingdom and draw us, or someone else, to be reconciled with Him.

So why was Rob’s usual train so over-crowded that day of all days? Why did Elise’s computer freeze right when she was trying to book Flight 175?

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail” Proverbs 19:21  

“I know that you can do everything and that your plans are unstoppable.” Job 42:2

Ben Dalglish was running as hard and as fast away from God as he could. He looked for happiness in the bottom of a bottle and the arms of women. After a five day drinking binge, Ben was speeding down the highway very drunk. Moments later, as he pulled onto a round about, the drive shaft in his car snapped. If it happened just moments earlier while he was speeding, it is doubtful he could have avoided a terrible accident, especially with his alcohol-impaired, cognitive skills.

A good close call will do that – make you re-assess what is really important and re-adjust your priorities …

God used this incident to speak very clearly into Ben’s life. He knew that if this seemingly random event had have occurred a few seconds earlier, He would probably be dead, have killed somebody or both. This close call was a wake up call, which caused him to revaluate the direction of his life and his own mortality. A good close call will do that – make you reassess what is really important and re-adjust your priorities, especially when we are humble enough to recognise that there really is someone looking out for us. Once we realize God is actively working in our lives, the onus is then on us to find out why.

So, have you had a close call? How did it make you feel and what conclusions did you draw from it? Sharing your experience with someone, and inviting them to tell you about theirs, can be a great conversation starter to facilitate a discussion about God, the universe and everything!

A Close Call Video


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About the Author

Fiona Cameron

Fiona Cameron

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Fiona is a community specialist, on-line evangelist, blogger and social media specialist. She has done over 7000 interviews with pop stars, authors, celebrities, politicians during a 27 year radio career. She holds a Diploma in Theology and is raising a lively 13 year old. Her passions include archery, motorcycling and science fiction.

A Close Call
the yesHEis blog
Fiona Cameron

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