Not long after I became a Christian, when I was 18, I went every now and again to a Pentecostal church. Apart from the pastor being one of the biggest people I've ever met (there was a universal fear that one day he would disappear through their not very substantial stage) one of the things I most remember about that church was that they would regularly pray for "Travelling Mercies". Not growing up in a Christian home I had no idea what "Travelling Mercies" were! In fact I was so unchurched I wasn't even sure what mercies were! But over time I came to understand that when they prayed that, they were asking God to keep people safe on their journeys.
We had an occasion this weekend to thank God for "Travelling Mercies". We were travelling up to Manchester on Friday night when, to cut a long story short, all of the traffic in front of us stopped. We stopped, the car behind us stopped but the next one didn't and pushed the car behind us into our car. The bottom line is that although our car is a bit bashed up at the back, and the other two cars were I suspect write offs, no one was injured in any of the cars and everything is now in the process of being sorted. I really believe that God looked after us in that moment. Looking back it could all have been so much worse, so much more serious.
I've just been listening to Sola's sermon from Sunday on "Remember to Give Thanks". If you haven't listened to it then please do. It's just brilliant foundational teaching, reminding us to always give thanks. Somehow we remember to give thanks when it all went a bit wrong but turned out OK, but lets also remember to give thanks when it all turns out perfectly, as on our return journey from Manchester which went without a hitch.
And let's always be praying for "Travelling Mercies". I'd suggest not using that language, as we don't want to confuse 18 year old heathens like I was, but let's grab hold of that belief that God is the one who is our protector and the one who watches over us. And not out of fear that if we forget to pray bad things will happen, but out of a confidence that God is our Father who cares for us more than we could ever understand.