Reasons Known Only To God


It was mid July of 1977. I was driving cross-country on a tour of the Argentina Buenos Aires South mission with my companion and the Mission President.  The Mission President was riding in the front passenger seat, while my companion slumbered in the back seat.  It was nearing dusk as I peacefully drove along somewhere between the city of Bahia Blanca and Neuquen. Suddenly, out of nowhere I saw a slow-moving tractor pulling a wagon of hay directly ahead in my lane. I thought that I was traveling way too fast to avoid a collision so I glanced at the other side of the single lane highway, only to see a car coming in the opposite direction. I glanced to the right and found that we were coming right up to a small bridge and that veering towards the right would certainly result in the car going down the embankment and possibly overturning. No option seemed good so I slammed on the brakes hoping that I could somehow minimize the inevitable bad accident.

I really can’t explain what happened next, but when I put on the brakes, it seemed as if an invisible hand engulfed the car and brought it safely to a complete stop just in time to avoid rear-ending the slow-moving tractor. I remember sitting there and looking over at the Mission President who looked white as a ghost. I looked in the back-seat and saw that my companion was still sleeping undisturbed.  He was sleeping away without a care in the world. He never knew how close we came to a tragedy. I had no doubt then or now, that the Lord had a hand in protecting us that day. Why did He? Perhaps my companion at the time, Lloyd Newell, needed to fulfill his mission of being the spokesman for ‘Music and the Spoken Word’, which he continues to do.  Maybe I, or the mission president had a greater mission here on earth. I guess the reason is only known to God. Yes, we were in his service that day, but the scriptures are full of accounts where faithful men and women have perished while doing the work of the Lord.

Why then, does the Lord allow tragedy, and or, wicked men to persecute the righteous and yet at other times He wields His power? I’m not sure I have the complete answer but I do know that the Lord is in charge. It is clear from the scriptures and from my own personal experiences that the Lord does intervene from time to time in the lives of his children. But when tragedy strikes and the Lord doesn’t intervene to stop it, we should count ourselves in good company. More importantly, we should remember that this life is not the end of our existence.  Oft times we do not see the “big” or “full” picture.  Tragedy that comes into our lives can be hard to accept at times,  but if we have faith in the plan of salvation,  I believe our hearts can be comforted.

When we pray for deliverance, we must always remember the model prayer given by the Savior in the garden of Gethsemane. He prayed: “…Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him”. (Luke 22: 42-43). I glean at least three things from this prayer. 1) He asked to have the cup removed. In other words, he believed in prayer and that it was effective. Why else would he have prayed! 2) He understood that his prayer was a request, but he was willing to accept whatever the Father decided, and 3) His father answered it in a different way than he wanted. He wanted the cup removed, but what he received was the appearance of an angel to “strengthen him.” There are valuable lessons to be learned from this exchange.

Voicing our desires to Heavenly Father in prayer is the right thing to do. But having faith in His decisions for our life requires much deeper faith. May we have the faith to both pray and to accept the answers that come from a loving Heavenly Father and the reasons that are only known to Him.

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