As I reflect back to my grade and high school years it seems that I put myself in a number of physically, dangerous positions. In each case however, I am convinced the Lord came to my defense.

I was seventeen at the time and lived in Worcester, Massachusetts. After a date one evening I dropped off a girlfriend who lived across town. I returned to my car only to find that I could not start the engine. It was a cold, winter’s night and finding someone to assist me at that late hour seemed hopeless. It meant I had to leave immediately on foot, to hopefully catch the last bus as it passed through the center of the city.

About an hour later, after a long cold walk I was waiting at a bus stop on Main St. Suddenly I heard a woman scream. Across the street two elderly people were being attacked by a man. The husband had just been struck and was lying on the sidewalk. The woman, after screaming, also was hit and fell to the ground.

By the time I had observed everything, I was halfway across the street. As I approached the sidewalk, I saw the criminal. He looked directly at me and I saw that he had a knife in his hand. He turned and faced me, waiting for me to draw closer. He swung his blade and missed (praise the Lord!). At that moment, he backed away then rushed across the street. I chased him down an alley, when suddenly I heard the word “NO.” very clearly. I knew who had spoken.

Returning to the elderly couple, I could tell easily that they were foreign by their thick accents. They were shaken and still stunned by what had happened. I urged them to please leave the area immediately and make it a practice not to be out late at night. They agreed and invited me to stay with them at their home that night. We all hugged, but I told them not tonight. I needed to get home. After some coaxing, they continued on their way and left me to go back across the street to the bus stop.

Now standing alone at that late hour again my thoughts were on the bus. In all the commotion had I missed it? Should I start walking the six miles to home? I shivered in the cold.

Then across the street from the same alley where I chased the mugger, I saw three men exiting the alley. They were heading in my direction.

What should I do? Where will I go? “Don’t run,” I sensed. I felt His presence.

Closer and closer they came. Soon they were directly across the street from me. They all drew knives and began spreading apart for obvious reasons. They “smiled’ at me and, of course I knew why.

Then I heard it, a sound of a vehicle and it began to get louder. I looked at the men; they began moving slowly. Suddenly they covered their knives with their coats.

“Could it be?” I thought, “The bus? Yes! YES, IT WAS!”

I hesitated, “Wait until its closer…. NOW!”

I jumped onto the road with my hands waving. There was a loud squeal from the bus brakes. The bumper of the bus made a soft contact on my body. The bus door opened and I heard the worse language from the driver I had ever heard. I ran into the bus and shared what the three men were carrying under their jackets. Instantaneously the bus door was slammed shut and my ride home was assured.

God’s protection is a gift. He sees our potential, for years to come. I made the choice to put myself at risk that late evening. He saw all my tomorrow’s. He made the decision that night long ago, “Not tonight.”


– Wesley Peterson