The warm, muggy air outside my window did little to ease the heat inside my car. Oh well, I could stand the heat for the twenty-five minute drive. I turned up the CD a little louder and headed out of the parking lot towards home.
Ten minutes later I mechanically got into the lane that would turn into a ramp to the next road. My eyes automatically fixed on the truck in front of me. Suddenly, the brake lights on the truck came on and the truck came to almost a dead stop just 50 feet in front of me! I slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting the truck. It was as if I saw the vehicle approaching in slow motion. Fifty feet. Twenty feet. Finally my car came to a stop about 5 feet from the truck’s bumper. The cars behind me had managed to stop in time too.
As I made my way around the traffic jam and saw that the cause of the sudden stop was a vacant car sitting in the turn lane, the verse that I had been studying that morning came to mind, “The Lord lives, and blessed by my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation” (Psalm 18:46). I spoke the words aloud to express my thanks and praise to God who had just delivered me from a damaging car-crash.
This is the first post in a series about how to keep our thoughts trained on God. It’s a hard thing to do when so many other things are vying for attention in our lives! But this event taught me a valuable lesson on how to do it: memorize God’s word. The first thing that my mind jumped to in this situation was the reality of God’s deliverance because I had just been reading about that deliverance and purposefully memorizing Psalm 18:46. Just imagine what changes could take place in our lives if we took the time to implant key verses into our hearts!
So, Key #1: Memorizing scripture. What good ways have you found to do this?
The rollercoaster at the Denmark amusement park was a little rickety. I heard a clattering sound as a single car climbed the big hill and rushed down the other side. Excited screams floated on the wind. My family was sightseeing in Europe, and we were stopping at several of the famous theme parks during our trip.
It was almost our turn to ride. There were no ropes at the front of the line where I was standing, so I leaned over to look into the deep tunnel-like track where the roller coaster would stop. It sure was a long drop…
Suddenly, someone grabbed my waist and held me over the track! The rollercoaster was about to return to its station, and I certainly didn’t want to be on the path when it did. A moment later, my prankster returned my feet to the ground. I whirled to look at the person who thought it was funny to scare the life out of me, and found the guilty culprit, a ride attendant, giggling hilariously at what he thought was a clever joke. Apparently he didn’t share the American fear of the word, “lawsuit.”
Have you ever had that feeling of being unsettled like that? Probably your experience is more serious than an ill-timed prank. The other day I stumbled on this amazing verse, Acts 2:25. It says, “For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken.’” What struck me is that the same God who could not be held by death is the one who is at my right hand so “that I may not be shaken.” Isn’t that incredible? As we hold on to God, he will become the most important thing in our lives and we will never be shaken to the core. Focus on Jesus. By his power, you will never be shaken from his hands.
Do you feel like your parents’ divorce or another problem has been a roadblock in your life? Have you ever felt shaken by a disaster that you didn’t see coming? What have you learned through it?