Just yesterday, Carl got out once more and was found in the middle of the street. I couldn’t watch as the cars whizzed by and my neighbor went out and retrieved him. He was totally oblivious to the danger he was in and how frightening the experience was for me and the other onlookers that watched with terror. Once he was rescued, Carl walked over to me and I picked him up, hugged him, and held him close. Instead of wanting to yell at him for his foolish decision, all I wanted to do was draw him close to my heart and love up on him.
I can’t imagine the number of times that I have been close to death. A poisoning when I was three, a major boat accident when I was twelve and many other times that I am not even aware of. I also believe that on several of these occasions, God sent down angels to intervene on my behalf. I can remember a time when I was talking on the phone and didn’t see the car in the right hand lane and tried to move over. I believe I should have been hit, but amazingly the car was able to move out of the way preventing a collision. This is only one of many unexplainable rescues that I have lived through that could have led to my demise. But thankfully, by only the grace of God, I have been spared to live another day.
When I think of the odds being against someone that should have been destroyed, I think of King Hezekiah. In Isaiah 37 and 2 Kings 18-20, the Bible states two times that King Hezekiah should have died. The first time was when Hezekiah had been rescued from death when he was very sick with a boil. The prophet Isaiah went to Hezekiah and told him that he should put his house in order because he was going to die. Hezekiah immediately begins to pray and pleads to God for healing. And the amazing thing is that God heard him and added fifteen years to his life.
The second time was more astonishing and gives insight to why God healed Hezekiah. A decade after Hezekiah had been saved from death, the Assyrian nation under the leadership of King Sennacherib, became the greatest external threat to the Israelites since they had entered into the Promised Land. Due to spiritual decay and captivity of Israel, the nation of Judah was left to defend for itself against a growing Assyrian Empire. After defeating all of the nations in the region, they were in a perfect position to take over the city of Jerusalem and put to death King Hezekiah. But as we know, this scenario is a perfect platform for God to demonstrate that He is in control and sovereign over all.
After a failed attempt to buy off an attack with gold and silver from the temple, King Hezekiah fortified the walls and blocked the water sources on the outside of the city. He then ordered workers to dig a 533 meter tunnel to channel the fresh water into the city. Knowing the chances of survival were steal bleak, “Hezekiah went up to the House of the Lord and spread his request before the Lord.” 2 King 19:14. After his plea to Almighty God, Isaiah, the prophet sent word to Hezekiah stating that the Lord had heard him and would indeed save Jerusalem and kill King Sennacherib.
2 Kings 19:35 gives the very cool account of what happened next. “And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand, and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead.” Once the King Sennacherib saw his army destroyed he departed and went back to Nineveh. And the Bible states that as he was worshipping to his god, his own sons strike him down with the sword and flee.
So what can I learn from this Biblical account of King Hezekiah? First of all, I believe that God does hear our prayers when we come to him with a humble heart. I also believe that He has a purpose for our lives and will save us from calamities if we have not completed the purpose that He has scripted for each of us. As for Carl, I believe that God hasn’t finished with this little pooch and hopefully will continue to work through him. But to make sure that he does stay safe, I will watch the door more closely the next time I close it behind me.