Amid the many big moments in our lives, there is one that defines and determines the course of
all the rest: the moment (or slow-dawning realization) of our salvation. Then there are the
other moments (probably millions of them!), less impactful, but worth recalling just the same.
One might refer to them as small-scale rescue missions, the situations that are keeping the Holy
Spirit and our guardian angels so busy (an Oklahoma friend refers to these as God’s
faithfulnesses). I, for one, am hugely grateful for that watchcare, those multiple interventions
geared to save me from myself. When I’m willful, prideful, stubborn, acting primarily to
eliminate the possibility of embarrassment, or ignorant or naïve or rash, the God Who sees has
always sounded the alarm that Don Freemtimingan is about to do something stupid, something to
which, as usual, he is oblivious. And help has arrived (proof: I’m still here). Not help I’ve been
aware of necessarily, not help I’ve always immediately appreciated, but the precise help I’ve
Not to weary you with repeated tellings, but this Holy Spirit-directed rescue mission is a good
case in point. I was nearing the end of my initial six-month stay in France, and was cherishing
the hope of marrying a beautiful girl back in the US. I was also cherishing a newborn hope of
staying longterm in France (with absolutely no clue as to what or how that would be!) The clock
was ticking and I was panicking. I felt both hopes were God-given, so I convinced myself that He
had a timely resolution to my dilemma. Timely is the operative word. I say timely, but what I
meant was ‘my’ timing). As the proverbial 11 th hour came and went, in heavenly silence, my
most mature self felt fully justified in throwing a hissy fit (which rattled God’s throne mightily,
as you can well imagine!). At the end of an hours-long standoff, God let me know I would serve
Him with no conditions, or I would not serve Him at all. Me (innocently): What conditions, God?
God: There are two: I’ll do as you say as long as it is close to the ocean and where there is no
winter. I was incredulous! Those seemed so nitpicky, so easily accomplished. But as there was
no heavenly backing down, I finally conceded defeat, agreeing to remove these ‘conditions.’
Within 24 hours, I was travelling on my way to the school where I would work for the next 6 ½
years*, where the lovely lady back in the US could use her educational training, and surely Sue
could not refuse to marry me with such wonderful prospects in view!
This long harangue is but one example of how God rescues. It isn’t always pretty. It is rarely
‘timely.’ It is always accompanied by His sweet provision and His loving faithfulness. PD
*note about God’s sense of humor: Alsace, where I would be living, is the spot in all of France
the furthest from the ocean and where winter puts a chill in your bones.

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