My Life on the Road – As a Five-Year Old!

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your right hand shall lead me and your right hand shall guide me. Psalm 139:9-10 NKJV

One day, when I was just five years old, I announced to my mom that I had decided to go live with my grandparents. To my surprise, instead of arguing, mom told me that I had a great idea. So, she pulled my little suitcase out of her closet, and began packing some clean underwear, a pair of socks and my cowboy shirt. Once she added a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I was pretty sure I had all I needed. Then as we waited for my stepdad to get home from work, mom explain the directions. “You see, Main Street where we live is also called Route Six and that road goes all the way from Pennsylvania to your grandparents’ house in Connecticut.” That made my journey sound like a cinch, and the three hundred miles in between didn’t bother me because there would be no turns along the way!

After my stepdad got home, he and mom thoughtfully agreed to drive me to the edge of town, to give me a good head start. I was so excited and pictured in my mind the astonished look on my grandparents’ faces when they opened the door! After the car was parked, they helped me get my suitcase out of the trunk. I hugged and kissed my mom goodbye, waved to my stepdad and shrugged off nervousness as I began walking. After about twenty feet, I glanced back and was surprised to see that my parents were gone. It was beginning to get dark, and the first car sped by, and as the car’s headlights blinded me for a second, I realized that this was a lot more than I had bargained for. Then another car passed and suddenly tears began to run down my cheeks. “Mom! Mom!” I called out desperately. Then I saw my parents come running and relief flooded over me. Later, they told me that they had only been a few feet away, behind some bushes, waiting to see how far I would get. Today’s verse reminds me that both King David as well as you and I sometimes think that running away is the solution to our problems. We imagine that things will be better somewhere else. Just like my parents, God sometimes helps us pack our bags and He even drives us out to the edge of town. But if we are His child, we will soon begin to look for Him and cry out for His help. There, at the uttermost part of our sea, we will discover how much we need God. Just like my folks, He is watching and waiting for us to call desperately for Him. Then He comes, wraps us in His arms and shows us that no matter where we have wandered, that His hand will guide us and His right hand will hold us fast!

God’s Italian Pinch

God’s Italian Pinch

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3 ESV

When our boys were small, we used to drive down to visit my dad and stepmom once every six weeks. Since it was such a long ride, we generally met at church and of course our sons would run to their grandparents and then snuggle in on either side of their gramma in the pew. Now our sons loved their gramma, and would usually try to be good, but almost inevitably one of them would start poking his brother or talking loudly during the sermon.  That is when my stepmom, would quietly reach over and give a good Italian pinch on whichever one was acting up. That got their attention! Suddenly they would sit straight up, quiet down and at least start pretending to listen!

In today’s verse, David prays for God’s correction over the unruliest part of our anatomy – the tongue. He asks God to put a guard over his mouth and a watchman over his lips.  It sounds to me as if He is asking for a good old fashioned Italian Pinch. But for that pinch to work we must start out by sitting close enough to God for Him to reach us. Sure, He might correct is, but just as our sons decided with their gramma, it is worth the risk. Second, when that pinch comes, we can’t run away. Instead, we have to sit up straight and be quiet! Lastly, try to remember that God is getting our attention for a reason. He has a wonderful message for us to hear and we need to do more than just pretend to listen. His guard is on our tongue because God loves us and guards us because we are precious to Him!

No!Not this One!

The heron snatched the lizard up
As quietly it slept
When to its rescue out the door
My wife in fury swept

"No!Not this one!"
She yelled and shook
Her fist with flashing eyes
So in dismay he turned to fly
And dropped his newfound prize

Then I recalled how I was lost
 Moving from town to town
When all around me danger crept
Looking to hunt me down

But a voice so quiet yet so deep
Echoed in my shadowlands
"No! Not this One!"
I heard Christ say
Then He took my trembling hands!