Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Future and a Hope

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  (Jeremiah 29:11. ESV.)

The Car Accident

"Oh Lord, we're going to roll!"

The words passed through my mind as I watched the hood of the vehicle.  What once was parallel to the blacktop was now rising on the left to become perpendicular.  And then, it was like waking from a dream.  Quiet, peaceful...as if the wind ceased to blow and the air was gone from the atmosphere.  A calm voice spoke gently to me.  "Do you know what happened?"  "Is there anyone I can call for you?"

I was clueless, lost... as if my skull was filled with rocks.  I could not keep a thought yet I was still able to function, somehow.  I was blinded, (not with darkness but) the windshield was shattered and I sat staring at it without even noticing!  If I had attempted to walk around I would have stumbled and fallen.  I was weak in my own strength...yet I listened carefully to the voice.  I could not see the man who owned it as I sat quite still without turning my head...but I felt it was trustworthy and dependable.  I could not help myself nor my family (a six month old) who was in the vehicle with me.

Time escaped me.  Where did the minutes go?  I focused my eyes on the broken glass before me.  Now I saw it for what it was.  My hands still gripped the steering wheel.  Why was I holding on so tight?  Someone sat behind me now, holding me still, and speaking firmly and simply so I could understand despite the confusion.  "Don't move."

A second individual stood to my left.  I was given instructions to follow for my safety and wellbeing as the mangled car encasing me was cut away.  I had no idea what to expect as I faced the unknown.  I suppose I could have rebelled but really, what would I have accomplished?  Nothing.  When I was told to be still, I did.  When I had to let go and rely on these persons to lift me, carry me, move me...I did.  And it was all for my good even though I was not in control, not the one calling the shots.

The Truth

You see, this life is but a vapor...here now, and then gone just as quickly and as quietly as it came (James 4:14).  There will come a day in life when the Good Shepherd will call.  His voice will be One easy to recognize.  The heart will be filled with peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).  But there will be instruction (for welfare and not for evil).  I guess one could be defiant...but really, what would be the point?  It is futile.  A child is not able to comprehend the ways of a parent until they themselves are grown and have a family.  Surgery is scary, messy, terrible, and utterly painful but at times necessary to save a life.  Sometimes the Mighty Counselor will say, "Wait, be still."

It is so easy to miss the truth...to view something in a skewed manner...to look yet not see what is right in front of the face.  The heart can be so deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) and the mind easily clouded, flustered, disoriented.  It is better to listen to (and trust) the Good Shepherd rather than lean on one's own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).  He came to save.  The flock recognizes the Shepherds voice.  Can you hear Him calling you?

(Photo information.)
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