Written by Dave Lenehan
20 minutes. That was all that separated Brian from disaster and likely death. Had he arrived 20 minutes earlier to his job at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, he would have been in the building when the first plane slammed into the first tower. 20 minutes. That’s about the length of time it takes to drive from Lynchburg, VA to Appomattox, VA.
45 minutes. It’s a daily routine. Brian (yep, the same Brian) takes the train from Hoboken, New Jersey into New York City where he works. His train had left the station on time and in good condition. 45 minutes later, on the morning of September 29, 2016, another commuter train crashed full speed into the Hoboken terminal in the midst of morning rush hour in one of the busiest transit stations in the NY Metropolitan area. 45 minutes. A little less time than it takes to drive from Lynchburg, VA to Roanoke, VA.
Brian went to college with my wife and I. His brother and wife are close friends of ours. Twice Brian saw God’s hand say, “not yet…I’m not finished with you.” Yes, those two experiences were life-changing, life-shattering, nation-impacting events. But in the midst of all of that, God’s voice was clear to him, “there’s still more that I have for you.”
The apostle Paul reminds us of some examples of God’s people whom God used in ways they never could have imagined at times that in human terms didn’t make sense:
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Romans 4: 18-15, NIV)
We just never know why God spares us from things or why He has us wait for something to happen in life much longer than we think we should wait. His plan, his timing is always perfect. For Brian, God’s timing was life-rescuing and plan-altering. What might that be for you?