Sunday, November 22, 2015

God Doesn’t Do Random

There have been times in my life that have shown me that our Heavenly Father is aware of us and will provide help when needed. Many times that help comes as the Lord sends someone to provide the needed help. On on occasion while living in Ridgefield, Washington I was out of town on business and my wife was home with our three young children and she was pregnant with our fourth. My wife had some clothes in the dryer and she went in to check to see if they were done and she heard a thumping noise. She opened the door to the dryer and saw that the clothes were all bloody and there was a horrible smell coming from the dryer. Somehow while she was putting the clothes in the dryer she was distracted for a moment by one of the children. She did not notice that the cat had jumped into the dryer probably looking for a warm place.

Most people would probably have thrown out the clothes, but not my wife. She knew we did not have the money to buy new clothes. She took the clothes out of the dryer and put them in the bath tub to soak, hoping that she could get the blood out of them. She then took a bucket of water and bleach and tried to clean up the mess in the dryer. She had another bucket that she used to throw up in when the stench got too strong for her. There was a knock at the door and crying she went to see who it was. It was our Bishop. He had the feeling that he needed to stop by and see how we were doing. After some jokes about calling the humane society and knowing easier ways to kill the cat; he was able to calm her down and comfort her. He made some calls and got her the help she needed and things were cleaned up, the clothes were saved and the dryer lasted for many years.

As tragic as that was at the time – we never did tell the kids what really happened to the cat; we now look back and laugh at the thought of my wife kneeling by the dryer trying to clean up the mess all the time trying not to throw up in the other bucket. This and other experiences are cherished reminders of people that have been there when we needed them.

Speaking to the students of BYU-Idaho, Derik Taylor, tells of an experience he and his family had while on a river rafting experience. Their family had thought they were going on a “family friendly” float down the river, but it turned out to be category 2-3 rapids on the Snake River. Derik had experience with white water rafting and when he realized where they were he helped his family prepare for the dangerous rapids called the “lunch counter”. As he was coaching his family on the techniques to use, a couple of kayaks came up close and asked it they knew what they were doing. Derik assured them he knew what he was doing but was afraid of someone falling out of their raft into the river. The kayakers said they would stay behind them to help if they needed it. One of the kayakers paddled up to another outfitter and told the guide what was going on behind them. They were told to follow the outfitter in front that they would guide them through safely. Derik continues:

These people were trained professionals and knew exactly how to run the Hoback. However, they didn’t jump in our boat and take over. They let us do the work and struggle through each rapid. It wasn’t easy but the only swimmer we had was my dear wife Amanda and the only reason she went out was because she was paddling so hard that she let her foot slip out of the pontoon to get more leverage.

As a family, we survived a very trying experience. One we will never forget. Personally, I felt the power of the Holy Ghost guiding my every command. In that moment, I remembered something about rafting that I hadn’t thought about in 15 years. We hit every rapid just as we should and skirted around others in the safest way possible. And in the gospel, I don’t believe in coincidences. Those kayakers were angels sent from Heavenly Father at the right moment to give us the comfort and security we needed. In the end, we didn’t need their assistance in rescuing swimmers, but they provided sound guidance and security knowing that there was someone there to pick us up if we fell. In my family we have a saying that “God doesn’t do random.” Our Father in Heaven knows us so well and He wants us to be happy in this life and come home to Him in the end. He will give us every chance He can to right the ship and make it home. (“Creating a Family Legacy”, Derik Taylor, BYUI Devotional, August 11, 2015).

I do not believe that it was just chance that the people that helped Derik’s family were on the river at the very moment that they needed them, or that our bishop just happened to stop by at the time that my wife needed help. Heavenly Father has promised help when we need it:

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in 
time of need. (Hebrew 4:15-16)

I know that God doesn’t do random. God and his angles are watching over us and that sometimes those angels are individuals that he has prompted to know when we need their help the most.

Your questions and comments are welcome.

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