Winston Churchill, famous for his quips and quotes, once said: “There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.”
In other words, it aids our spirit of gladness and thanksgiving to consider all the things that have not happened to us.
One day, according to a time-honored story, St. Francis of Assisi longed to see his brothers. They agreed to meet in a remote monastery in the Umbrian mountains of central Italy. After arriving and enjoying their reunion, each reported what he had experienced on the road.
One Franciscan brother who had traveled on muleback said: “God protected me in a miraculous way. When I was crossing a narrow bridge over a deep mountain gorge, the mule jumped. I fell and narrowly escaped falling over the wall of the bridge into the gorge. God by his love saved my life.”
A second brother said: “I had to cross a river and I slipped and fell. The waters carried me down the river. But God in his grace provided a tree which had fallen across the river. I could grasp a branch of that tree and pull myself ashore, thanks to God’s miraculous mercy.”
Then St. Francis said: “Let us thank God for his wonderful works. I did experience the greatest miracle of all on my way. I had the smoothest, most pleasant, completely uneventful trip.”
We should rejoice in every safe and uneventful trip as gladly as if saved from a near disaster. Thank the Lord for His constant oversight.
PS – The Francis stoy is from John H. Townsend, in Pulpit Digest, September/October 1979, p. 53. On a personal note, I’m speaking this weekend at a retreat in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Be in prayer for Joshua Rowe as he preaches at TDF, and for our all-music night of praise and worship.