Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Still On Duty

He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; Psalm 131:3 (NIV)

Praise the Lord for the truth that is found in this verse in Psalm 131 that reassures us that the Lord will not let our foot slip nor will He go to sleep during the task of watching over us. His focus is fixed; our Shepherd has His eyes on His sheep. Praise the Lord! The data would probably startle us to know exactly how many close calls or near misses we have escaped over the years as guardian angels work hard behind the scenes keeping us out of such situations.

Long ago after I was cured of my epilepsy I finally got my driver’s license back after twelve years of not driving. I did rather well, or so I thought, of getting back into the swing of being mobile. Unfortunately there was one little thing that I needed to relearn all over again. I had forgotten the purpose and beauty of peripheral vision as I fixed my focus and concentration directly in front of the hood of my car. Much to my surprise and dismay, other cars or objects were upon me before I even knew they were coming. Like the car that had to drive with two of its wheels off the road in order to avoid being hit as I failed to see it approaching before it was too late.

Another day I found myself up against an even bigger object when I was in town and I came to a railroad track that had no flashing lights to warn people or a stop sign to hesitate drivers. With my eyes still focused on the front of the hood the only thing between me and my daughter and the train was the sound of the conductor pulling firmly down on the rope alerting me to the danger we were in just in time for me to get my pickup stopped 4 feet away from the train’s engine.

Figuring I had enough of these near misses God finally opened my eyes to what I was doing wrong when just a block away from my church a drunk driver ran a stop sign and broadsided my pickup in the bed of the truck on the passenger side. Standing there waiting for the police to arrive I began to wonder why in the world I didn’t see this coming in order to be able to avoid the whole thing.

It was then that I recognized what the problem was and knew it was time to lift up my eyes and use the peripheral vision God had given me to pay attention to the things coming at me.

God most certainly didn’t cure me of my seizures only for me to wind up being killed in a car accident because I was out of practice. No, He had better things planned for me, more close calls or near misses in my years ahead but still on duty and not about to go off.

Sadly enough for some, close calls can turn into tragedies that are difficult to face as was the case of two women I know that each lost a son in single car traffic accidents several years apart. The pain I saw them bear could not have been comforted with knowing that the Lord never slumbers as the old familiar question of “Where was God when this or that happened” pops up frequently in our hearts.

Although we don’t have all the answers what we should have is faith in God knowing He is in control and that He has plans for us. The fact that God never slumbers doesn’t guarantee us that we will live a pain-free life, never stub our toes in the dark, or face tragedies.

What it does reassure is a Shepherd always on duty someone who is there to help us when we stumble, pick us up when we fall, strengthen us when we face tragedies, guide us when it gets dark, and help us to grow in our pain. It’s up to us to not undo what He is doing in our lives by trying to lean on our own understanding, stand on our own strength, and refuse to grow spiritually from the pain.

Dear Heavenly Father thank you so much for being there during those moments in our lives when danger is near whether it be in our physical or spiritual lives. Like young children we often are unaware of the dangers we can get into, some of which we bring on ourselves, others are brought on by circumstances and situation in the world. May we do our part in living in such a way that the only life on the edge we are leading is the life on the edge of eternity awaiting the day we get to be with You. Amen.

© 2007 by Karen J. Gillett

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