“I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went” (Genesis 35:3).
Often God’s protecting hand is over us when we do not know it. One time, in the Colorado Rockies, a hunter with his young grandson stood in the deep snow and looking at giant pine that has been killed by lightening. The wind was blowing and the tree swayed in the stormy gusts. After a few moments rest they started on, when without warning the mighty pine crashed to the ground and covering their tracks they had made in the snow only a few seconds before. There was but a step between them and death. They bowed their heads right there and thanked God for His protecting mercy. This experience made a profound impression on that that boy.
Here is the point: The troubles and sorrows that come upon us can be the means in God’s providence of drawing us back to Himself. No religion except the religion of Christ brings to those in trouble the mighty truth that even our sorrows may be the manifestation of God’s mercy rather than of His wrath. In Hebrews 12:6, 7 we read: “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as if you were his son; “for what son is he whom his father chastens not?”