“Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” Psalms 119:67
There is nothing like a hardship or a trial to cause us to be more attentive to God. During the problem free days we have a tendency to wander off and become careless. I am not saying every trial is God’s chastisement, but sometimes, ofttimes, trials draw us back to a more careful, humble attitude.
On March 15, 2017, Amelia and I were in town running errands before church and we had planned to meet up with Mark who was out making visits. We met at the large grocery store because there are several little fast food places inside where we could eat some supper. We were starving and had left the house before lunch so we chose a place that served up platters of meat, beans and rice.
I remember sitting across from Amelia as we talked over our day with Mark. We were in a hurry to get to the Wednesday evening service, so we were gulping down our food as we chatted. Suddenly, Amelia jerked up and her eyes went wide. She pointed to her throat and started panicking. The piece of beef she was eating apparently had a bone shard left in it and when she had swallowed the last bite, the bone lodged itself in her esophagus.
Thankfully I have a husband that is calm in emergency situations because I freeze. Mark jumped into action and we carted Amelia off to the ER. Brazil is my home, and I love the country and the people, but I am not a huge fan of the medical system there. No offense, because I am sure in the big cities there are much better facilities than those we have in the mountains, but when your child’s life is at stake you want the best of the best.
When we got to the little 24 hour clinic it seemed a thousand people were standing around waiting to be seen by a doctor. I knew Amelia’s situation warranted immediate attention, but as I looked around at people bleeding, holding broken appendages and passed out loved ones, I realized everyone else had the same expectant look in their eyes. My desperation level spiked and I tried very hard not to bust out screaming for help as I stood in the center of that room waiting for someone to help us.
To make a long story short, Amelia was whisked away for surgery after several failed (and very painful) attempts by random nurses to retreive the bone shard. I cannot describe to you how helpless I felt in those dirty hospital waiting rooms that evening, but I can assure you that I BOLDLY came before the throne of God begging for my daughter’s life.
God saved Amelia and she came through the entire catastrophe without any lasting problems.
Because of this incident, Amelia became leery of eating beef without first checking it for bones. She became very careful because she remembered the pain and fear she suffered that night.
The psalmist has pointed out that before he was afflicted and suffered, he was careless. He had gone astray from the Lord until affliction brought him back to his spiritual senses. Now, he says, he is keeping God’s Word.
I wish we wouldn’t allow ourselves to get in these situations where we forget our God and forget to pay careful attention to His Word, but our flesh does seem to get the best of us from time to time, doesn’t it?
So, before you find yourself in a dire circumstance, how about examining yourself today and see if there is anywhere you have gone astray from God’s Word.
“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” 1 Corinthians 11:31
Do we need to make some things right with our Lord and Saviour before He has to come along and get our attention?
Let’s keep dwelling in Him so that our eyes are constantly lifted heavenward and our ears are bent towards His voice and commands. Let us never grow weary of waiting and watching for what God wants in our lives. Don’t go astray out of carelessness. Be attentive.
Until Next Time, Lord willing,