I was texting while driving the other day—something I abhor when others do it. But I told myself it was harmless, in my situation. I was just leaving church to drive home. In fact, I had already put the transmission in DRIVE when it occurred to me that my wife might need something from KwikTrip. So I texted her, steering with my knees as my car rolled around our spacious and completely empty parking lot. I glanced up—don’t know why—to find my car heading squarely toward the only structure in the lot, a light tower on a round concrete base. I hit the brakes, stopping within a yard of the obstacle, thus avoiding some extensive damage, and possibly one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.
Ten minutes later, I pulled up to an intersection, first car in line at the stop light. I knew that particular light would be green for exactly 12 seconds. Seriously. So, as a courteous driver, I needed to accelerate quickly to allow a few more cars behind me to make it through. I’ve done this countless times. But this time—I don’t know why—when the light turned green, I hesitated for at least a half second. Only then did the bicyclist roll through the crosswalk right in front of me. He smiled and waved at me, I think, to express that he knew it had almost become his most embarrassing moment in life, or something much worse.
I drove the rest of the way home reflecting on this question: Why didn’t these bad things happen? And the corollary, how many times each day am I protected from such things without being aware of it?
The answers have to do with God’s omniscience. None of us knows what lies around the corner, or what our next moment holds. But God does. He sees what we cannot see, literally, and he knows what we cannot know regarding our future. It is a wonderful thing that God is omniscient, yet even more wonderful that God is personal—that based on his omniscience, he involves himself in our existence.
The omniscient and personal God, thankfully, goes one step further. Oh, how he loves you and me. This great love for us has always been, and will always be, true of God. But the greatest, and the only evidence of this that we need, is God in the flesh coming to our world and giving himself completely for us on the cross in his Son Jesus Christ.
Why didn’t I foolishly smash my car into a light post? Why didn’t I bear the guilt—and that bicyclist the pain—of a crosswalk collision? One more question, why won’t I suffer forever the consequences of my sin? Because God is omniscient; God is personal; God loves me.
Rev. Brent Juliot serves as contributing editor of Faith & Fellowship magazine and is Pastor of Living Hope Church in Menomonie, Wisconsin.