A Near Miss

Joni and Friends
A Near Miss

by Joni Eareckson Tada

“Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. ”

Psalm 39:4-5

I still get goose bumps thinking about a certain Friday night back in 1966. I had returned home early from a date to a dark and empty house, so before I went upstairs to bed, I grabbed a snack out of the fridge, sat at my baby grand piano and played a few favorites. Later as I was about to jump into bed, I heard a horrible crash from downstairs. With no one yet home and all the house still dark, I dived under the bed. I was convinced a burglar was in the house.

Thirty minutes ticked silently by with not a stirring anywhere. Cautiously I crept downstairs, flicking on lights as I went. When I switched on the living room lamp, I gasped. There, covering the piano bench, were huge, heavy elk horns. They had fallen from the high vaulted rafter above the baby grand. I looked closer and collapsed on the steps when I saw two of the horns piercing the thick wooden bench—the bench where I had sat only an hour earlier.

God only knows the times your life is threatened by near misses and almost accidents. Only heaven will reveal how the delays or detours we call frustrating have deflected deadly tragedy. Every once in a while God pulls back the invisible veil to show us “what could have been,” as in my elk horn story. I was saved for a purpose! And so are you. As Job tells us, “Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed” (Job 14:5).

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. That’s Psalm 90 and it’s also my prayer, O Lord.

Taken from More Precious than Silver

By Joni Eareckson Tada

Copyright © 1998
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.

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