I feel truly fortunate this Christmas.
Last night, as my family returned home to my mother-in-law’s house, we noticed the distinct smell of natural gas. It was strong, and not the first time we had noticed it that day. Still, trying to get in from the cold, we hurried to the house.
Later, while taking out the garbage, I noticed the smell again, this time even stronger. I also heard a loud hissing noise coming from the neighbor’s home. Not wanting to take any chances, I asked my wife to call the gas company. Even on Christmas, I’d rather be safe than sorry.
I’m so glad we did. As it turns out, my mother-in-law’s neighbor had a broken furnace which was leaking raw natural gas into his home. When the gas company arrived, it was already at 3 percent. The gas man informed us that 4 percent was an explosive level of gas. In his opinion, by morning, the house would have exploded and probably taken several others – including my mother-in-law’s home – with it.
As I apologized for disturbing his Christmas, the gas man looked me straight in the eyes and said our call likely saved many lives, including our own.
As the gas man left, I sat in awe of God. Had we ignored it or not smelled it or didn’t come home when we did, there could be potential tragedy this morning. But God, in his direct providence, orchestrated events to save lives, including the life of my family. When confronted by God’s presence, I am left awestruck and humbled. God, literally, spared my life, and the life of my wife, daughter and mother-in-law.
reminded of Jeremiah 29:11. It’s God’s promised to prosper us and to help, not to harm us. God had a plan on Christmas. Frustrated by other events, I didn’t come back to the house in a particularly festive mood. It was lamenting some unpleasantness at Christmas. Yet, God had not forgotten us. He was, quite literally, saving our lives.
In a nutshell, that’s what Christmas is all about. Jesus came down to earth to save our lives. He didn’t let us walk around in ignorance. His birth was not something to be ignored. He didn’t let circumstances prevent action. In the end, he died to save our lives.
He desperately wants to save yours. But like us making the call to the gas company, he’s waiting for you to reach out to him. He wants to save you.
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