I happen to think that deliverance is a major part of our lives as Christians. The biblical exodus happened on a grand scale to a large number of descendants of Jacob aka. Israel. Apparently they had at that point been living in Egypt for some 400 years. There is little indication of when their guest status changed and they became slaves. But if you think about it, deliverance happens in small ways to all of us. This is a story of one occasion I think qualifies.
Some years ago, when I was single, my girlfriend had three little kids. She had some sort of appointment on a day when I was off work, so I offered to babysit. I arrived at their duplex in plenty of time, went in the gate and greeted everyone. We sat down in the living room to go over last minute instructions. Finally my friend went to finish getting ready and I started to gather the kids. They were all there a minute ago it seemed but now Jeremy, the baby was not in evidence. I asked the other two where he was, but they didn’t know, so we looked around the house and then around the yard. Not finding him there, I went back in to talk to my friend, who had not yet left. I’m pretty sure she rechecked every where I had already looked then in a panic, we headed out the gate with the other two kids in tow.
Now the situation was this, their place was on a side street, but the building actually fronted on a busy street, where cars come off an overpass at 45 mph. Fearfully, we ran to that street but saw no sign of a toddler. Then we went to the other end of the block, but still didn’t find him. A block east of that, there was a 6 lane busy street, once the main highway through town. I suggested that we head that way, but she was sure he wouldn’t cross the street, so instead we decided to circle the block and split up, each taking one of the other kids with us.
When we met half-way, she said she had been praying the whole time. I was wondering why I didn’t think of that, and decided to do it the rest of the way around. Still no sign of Jeremy. So we continued around praying all the while for God to help us find him, to open our eyes to any place he may have hidden or to direct our steps. Of course, between every prayer, the fears would come creeping in. Had someone somehow snatched him or would we find him run over by a car? No, help us Jesus, we need you.
With a sinking heart, I neared the last corner of one very long block. But then I saw a man coming toward me with a small boy in tow. It was Jeremy! He had headed straight toward the highway, but the man, who had a business nearby spotted him and went out to keep him out of harm’s way. I’m sure it took a few minutes to figure out how to bring him back without abandoning his business. I was so relieved that all I could say was thank you. Soon Mom came running from the other direction and all was well again.
Here’s the thing though, is this not a form of deliverance? That small boy somehow got out a gate that was securely latched and as childproof as we could make it and headed directly for danger. We, being imperfect and flustered, were unable to think like him and headed the wrong direction. Yet God provided someone, in the right place, at the right time, to keep him from harm. I do not have the answers to why it might happen otherwise in some cases, but I do think, when we see that God has delivered us or our loved ones, we should recognize that and praise Him for His goodness to us.