Running…to the Rock
Today on the dirt path, deep in the forest, I came nose-to-toe with a Copperhead snake, one of Texas’ most deadly vipers. His nose. My toe.
But I was not some rank amateur, no siree. Girl Scouts and First Aid courses had carefully trained and equipped me over the years, how to respond:
“Remain CALM. No loud noises. No sudden moves….”
So what did I do? I did what any self-respecting city girl would do. I panicked. I screamed. I did a 180-degree turn and ran for my life. So much for Being Prepared.
Call it what you like, but when a poisonous snake coils and raises its head to strike, gut instinct seems to outrank any lesson from a merit badge or first aid manual circa 1955. Sheer terror replaces anything I may have planned years earlier, while draped nonchalantly over the couch, textbook in hand.
One day, without warning, God may call each of us to experience a crisis we’ve only read about or watched others go through–-one that’s frightening, humiliating, devastating, shocking, overwhelming, or heart-breaking. It might be a temporary setback or a life-changing disaster, a private struggle or a public nightmare. We can read self-help manuals or stories of saints who have overcome… we can plan, prepare, even preach on “10 Steps to Handling Adversity.” But until we ourselves are facing, head on, that difficult life situation, we may not know what our gut reaction would be.
Will I turn to God, or to self? …to God, or to another person? …to God, or to another source, such as alcohol, anger, seclusion, fear…?
God’s pleas beckon us from the pages of Scripture: “Come to Me…Call upon Me…Seek Me first…Take My yoke… learn from Me…Be anxious for nothing…Give your requests to God…Fix your eyes on Jesus….”
God’s promises follow each plea: “…and I will give you rest… I will answer…I will show you…and all these shall be added to you…and you will find rest for your soul…and the peace of God shall guard your hearts and minds...so you may not grow weary or lose heart.”
The next time we suddenly come nose to toe with life’s challenges, why not respond to God’s gracious offer and run---into the ever-present arms of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Protector, our Refuge, our Rock. And watch our worries slither away. My God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. Psalm 18:2
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