“I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” Psalms 119:15
When Katie, my oldest, was a little girl she really had problems with her lungs. I can’t even remember how many times I would bike or walk down to the clinic for her to have a breathing treatment. Our little town in the Amazon didn’t have a doctor and the X-ray machine was constantly in need of repair so there was no one and no way of keeping track of how her lungs were doing from one asthma attack to the next. Eventually she became so ill that I knew we needed to catch a boat down to the city where she could get treatment.
The trip to the city consisted hanging a hammock in the open air and sharing 2 bathrooms with 100 other people on a three deck wooden boat for 24 – 30 hours on the way down river and 30 – 36 hours on the way back up river to our town. Locals thought nothing of this and it was quite normal to them to travel this way. After some years, we also got used to catching these boats but I never could rest because my mind was always wondering what we would do if we sank. I just never wanted to be piranha food.
Katie ended up having pneumonia and had to go to the hospital and our trip was extended. We entered the dry season during this time and the water levels on the rivers began to decrease exponentially. By the time we were read to return home our voyage became much more dangerous because the boat had to navigate around the sandbars that would obstruct the path due to the low water levels. I remember listening to the thump, thump, thump, thump of the motor as I stood leaning against the wooden railing of the boat the night we headed home. The breeze was cool and Katie was asleep. There were sporadic conversations held in hushed tones between the occupants of the various hammocks swaying in the night. The sound of the boat echoed off of the massive wall of rainforest along the river, but I could not see it. Only the echoes assured me it was there. The waters rushed passed and the moon barely gave any light that night. But every so often the captain would turn on a massive spotlight on top of the boat. He would scan the area, sweeping the light back and forth over the waters. I knew that HE knew there was a low spot, so I searched for obstacles and prayed as we continued slowly forward. The light went out and the blackness of the night descended upon us once again as the thump, thump, thump of the motor kept up it’s rhythmic beat.
Obviously, we made it through that trip without sinking and no piranhas are swimming around any fatter today because they had me for dinner. We made it safely through countless of similar trips over the years because the captain of each boat had learned those rivers and studied the waters. They knew where sandbars were prone to appear and when they had to guide us through a narrow passage, they turned that spot light on for a clearer view.
Our verse in Psalm 119 today teaches us that we should meditate on God’s Word and “have respect” unto God’s ways. That means we should study His Word, and scan our path with It’s direction so that we don’t get stuck on any obstacle that might appear. Just like the captain of those old riverboats would do.
Life is never without problems, I don’t care who you are. Eventually you are going to be faced with a tough decision or a temptation or a struggle. What are you going to do? Do you want to navigate those hard times in the dark?
I want to have some Scripture in my mind so that I can immediately lean upon it for guidance during the tough times. I don’t want to stumble around and fall because I wasn’t prepared.
Proverbs warns us from ways that would seem right to us but they end up in death (Prov 14:12). Why should we lean to our own understanding and knowledge? Wouldn’t it be better to have God’s Word at the ready because we have been meditating on It? We can use it as our guiding Light as we take the next step in this life. And we can do so without fear!
Read His Word. Meditate and study in It. Let the Bible guide you no matter what you are facing this week. Dwell in Him and He will get you where He wants you to go!
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
READ THE BIBLE THROUGH WITH ME IN 36 WEEKS!
Today’s reading: Numbers 13 / Isaiah 43-44 / Psalm 96 / Romans 14