What do you do
when faced with danger? Do you freeze in your tracks where you
stand, or do you turn to run away?
I suppose to
most of us, it would depend on the exact kind of danger we faced.
Depending on the circumstances, mostly when faced with danger,
I want to 'turn tail and run.'
I'd like to tell
you a story that actually happened to me and some of my friends
when we were teenagers. My Dad was a very adventurous person and
we kids often reaped the benefits of his nature. We learned early
in life to swim, canoe, hike, camp, etc.
really get really adventurous and combine a few activities like
hiking and canoeing into one big weekend blast. On one such occasion
we were hiking through the Breaks Interstate Park in Virginia
with our local church teenagers.
We were walking
along the train tracks through the park, and there were about
15 of us hiking that day. This was a long, hot trek, at least
10 miles or so and we were in generally high spirits, laughing
and joking and teasing each other. Dad would bring along his guitar
and we'd sing as we walked.
We walked through
a long tunnel, somewhat afraid but none of us wanting to show
that fear to each other. It was dark and slightly curved just
a bit so you couldn't see the light beams on the other side from
one end to the other. A few steps inside however, revealed light
at the end of the tunnel.
It was nice and
cool in there and we all wondered what would happen if a train
just happened along while we were all inside. Of course, that
didn't happen and we all laughed aloud at our foolish imaginations.
At the end of
the tunnel was a bridge . . . to us it seemed like a long bridge
. . . and it was. We were all relieved to be out of the tunnel
so we merrily started to cross the bridge, eager to be near the
end of our hike and we could taste the cold soft drinks waiting
The bridge was
very high without guard rails on either side, but oblivious to
that fact, we started across.
The train track
was of a normal width and there was an extension on either side
of the actual track. As long as we stayed in the middle, it wasn't
It didn't seem
nearly as high and we could ignore the fact that the bridge was
long and narrow.
Once we reached
the middle of the bridge, we all seemed to breathe a sigh of relief
. . . we were halfway across!
All at once we
heard a sound that made us stop dead in our tracks . . . the shrill
sound of a train whistle, warning us of its approach.
We all looked at
each other in a sort of panic . . . as if to ask each other what
do we do now? As the train swiftly approached our side of the
tunnel, we turned to run. As we did, my Dad shouted 'STOP!"
I don't have
to tell you how that sounded to us. Did he not see the train coming
toward us on that little narrow train bridge? Couldn't he see
that there was nowhere else to go but to run?
My Dad taught
us at a young age when he said to stop, we stopped. So instinct,
and faith and trust made us stop.
He quickly urged
us all to divide into two sides and stand on the outside edge
of the track as close to the end as possible and turn our backs
to the train.
We quickly did
as he asked and braced ourselves for what seemed like sure death
The train went
rumbling by, and the conductor waved at us as the train passed.
We all breathed a huge sigh of relief and quickly returned to
the middle of the track.
Dad praised us
for obeying him without question, when all of our natural instincts
told us to run instead of standing still and holding our ground.
I've often wondered
why we stopped when he spoke. I know we were trained to obey him,
but the other teens along on this particular outing didn't have
that experience. But they too, without question, obeyed, clearly
going against what their instinct told them and stayed still.
I trusted my
Father to take care of me. It's that simple. Although I wanted
to run, he knew if I did I might fall, get caught in between the
tracks, or several of us end up with a similar fate. The safest
course was to stand and turn our backs to impending danger.
What we didn't
know at that time was that my Father and a friend of his were
caught on the very same bridge, carrying a canoe from one side
of the river to the other! They also had to stand on the side
of the bridge as we did, except they had to hold a canoe over
the side as well! He knew that we would be all right. He knew
we would be safe.
Father wants us to trust in Him the same way we trusted my earthly
Father on the train bridge. Even in the face of clear and present
danger, have the faith and trust in Him to listen. Then heed his
voice! He's telling us to STOP! Probably more than we even realize.
He knows when
there is danger ahead. He knows when we are going to get into
a troublesome situation. He also knows how to rescue us, as well.
We only need to read his words in the Holy Bible and live by His
example . . . and listen to Him..
We need to turn
our backs on evil, just as I turned my back to that train years
ago. It took courage and it took faith and my Father's love to
Do we have the
courage and the faith to turn our backs on Satan and his influence
on our lives? Can we stand firm in the face of present danger
and shout "STOP!"
wrote a short article a couple of months ago about a young toddler
who broke away from his mother and ran into the path of an oncoming
car, with his mother pleading with him to STOP!
me of how God does the same in our lives, and how much he must
grieve as that young mother did, when the warnings are ignored.
Can we show our
love for Him by studying and praying and contemplating HIS WORDS
for us? He wants us to listen.
us that danger is ahead . . . and for us to STOP! and turn from
the evil one.
I like to picture
myself sitting at Christ's feet, enraptured, much the way I sat
at my Father's feet as a little girl and listened intently to
I'm older now
and no longer a little girl, but I am still God's little girl
and He loves me more than my physical Father did.
Can I look up
at Him with the same adoration and love that I gave my physical
Father? Can I listen to his stories (biblical examples of Christian
living) with the same rapt attention? Con you?
If you can .
. . God will tell you to stand one day . . . and you know what?
You'll stand . . . and we'll hear Him say. 'Well done!"
I'm waiting for