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Escaped by the “Skin of Their Teeth”

Amazing. Today I learned of two incredible escapes from almost certain death and destruction


TOKYO — A China Airlines jet exploded into flames at an airport in Okinawa after arriving from Taiwan on Monday, but all 165 people aboard escaped alive, officials said. Police said terrorism was not suspected.

All 157 passengers — including two small children— fled the Boeing 737 unhurt on inflated emergency slides just minutes before the plane burst into a fireball, Transport Ministry official Akihiko Tamura told reporters.

Look at that picture. Amazingly, no one was hurt.

As we sat at lunch today with people from our church, Janey told us that one of her relatives–a nephew, I believe–was part of the crew that is still missing deep inside the mine in Utah. The Monday of the accident, he had taken the day off.

Sad and gripping stories abound. Mixed in with death and dying scenarios, though, are happy accounts. Have you thought much about such escapes as these? Did God cause Janey’s relative to have that particular day off? If we answer yes, I suppose we must question God’s plans for the others–the ones who are missing. Can it be that God would spare one of the crew, and deliberately leave the others as the mine crashed in on them? Or is it chance? Mere chance? Huh? What do you think?


My devotional blog is here.


My devotional is here.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 81 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 64 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

5 replies on “Escaped by the “Skin of Their Teeth””

Jolene, I appreciate your honesty and your openness.

Consider with me the 11th chapter of Hebrews which is often referred to as the Roll Call of the Faithful. Beginning with verse 1 are stories of miraculous deliverances of God’s people. Read it all, then carefully look at verses 36 through the end of the chapter: “And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy;) …AND THESE ALL (my emphasis), having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise…”

An astounding and eye-opening scripture. There definitely have been people of God who were not delivered from their trials. Seemingly some prayers for deliverance are answered with a yes; others with a no.

The truth for us is that we continue to pray and plead and lift up our petitions. Further truth, however, dictates that whether or not God ever answers one of our prayers, we are to serve Him and to trust Him. His ways are exceedingly far above ours.

Big subject for such as I. Appreciate your involvement…even as we know we will never figure out it all.


Sis. Buxton, As I chew on what you have said, (for I really enjoy food for thought) I am forced to re-read the scripture. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die…” This does not say that there is an exact time that we have an appointment to die but that it is appointed unto man once to die. I believe that death itself is certain–therefore appointed. When that time is, who is to say but God. I believe that He has a time for everything and everyone.

I do know, however, that as children of God we do have, (how do I say this?) special privledeges with our Father that others do not. For example: My children/grandchildren can come into my home and help themselves to my refrigerator or groceries anytime they want but others do not have the right to come into my home and have free access to my supplies.

In other words what I am trying to say is that I believe we have the power, so to speak, to persuade God (maybe that is not worded right) to spare someone from death at some point in time. I know it was done in the bible more than once. One example was when Abraham pleaded for God to spare Lot’s life and He did. (Genesis 18:20-33 & 19:29)

When your husband was hit by a drunk driver it was merely life and chance BUT you held the secret weapon in your hand. GOD! You had the power of prayer on your side and were able to persuade God to spare him just a while longer so that he could do more for the kingdom of God.

Who really knows the answers to all of the above questions that you have asked? Our finite minds can never know it all. I do know that His word says in Job 14:1 “Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” But Praise God He is there to help us through all the trouble that comes our way.

As for the young man who did not work that day, why was he spared and not the others? You say he did not claim to be a child of God. Well it seems to me from reading the scriptures that Lot wasn’t where he should have been either. Maybe, just maybe this young man had an Abraham pleading with God for him as well. I don’t know but I sure enjoyed trying to figure it all out. Keeps me from having an idle mind.


Good morning, Julie and Jolene. I appreciate your taking the time to think about this and to come to a conclusion. Your remarks are interesting.

Julie, although of course we cannot know who was praying for Janey’s family, as far as I can tell, this spared person does not at all claim to be a child of God.

Jolene, do these scriptures lead you to believe that a certain time is appointed for man’s death, or is it that death itself is certain–therefore appointed?

When a deformed child is born, or one with a malfunctioning heart, or a missing kidney–did God determine that to happen? Or is it merely life–life in a fallen world?

If a two-year old dashes into the street and is struck by a car, is that God’s plan for that child–or is it because of chance–or the lack of attention of a parent?

Many years ago, my husband was struck by a drunk driver. Did God send the drunk driver to hit Jerry?…or was it life…and chance?

I’m laying it on you, I know. 🙂


First let me say that my heart goes out to all who have lost a loved one. I will continue to pray that somehow they will find peace and comfort in the midst of their storm.

Mere chance that the one man was off that day. I say no. I believe it was not his appointed time to die. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8! Hebrews 9:27 reads: ” And as it is appointed unto men once to die…” The key word here is APPOINTED.

We, as God’s children, can also pray a hedge of protection around our loved ones so that when trouble and adversity does come they are protected by the hand of God. Never under-estimate the power of prayer. This young man probably had someone somewhere praying in the shadows for him and God heard and honored their cry and therefore spared him that day.

Though we don’t understand it all, we must realize that God has it all in control. He sees down the road. He sees what is ahead and knows what is best for all.


Yes, I believe that God moved your friend’s nephew to take the day off… and I’m sure he and his family are praising God for His mercy.

I believe……..
Tragedy and difficulties are part of this life…God never promised to spare us all suffering…He did promise to take His children through…either to continue a few more years in this life or to joyously step into the next.
And for those who refused to acknowlege Him in good times , difficult times may turn them to Him .
God is just and righteous and plenteous in mercy in all His ways … my bottom line when things are hard to understand is …
“If I could stand before God and ask ‘why?’ and I listened to His answer, I would have no response but to be in awe of His wisdom!”


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