As the season changes into fall and the nights grow longer, critters are on the move. I find myself keeping a watchful eye on the sides of the road anticipating that a roving animal just might meander in my lane.
In life, there are obstacles that meander into your path which could cause you to swerve and turn aside. Paul warned Timothy about how some people handle such situations. He describes one of the qualities of a faithful follower of Christ as having “faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:5). The sincerity of your faith in the word of God will be tested when trials occur. For example, consider the Shunammite woman. She was blessed with a son, but one day the child died. You know she had a myriad of emotions pulling her heart apart at the seams! This trial could cause her to swerve and turn aside, but instead, she went straight to the one she knew would help her—Elisha. Elisha was in the dark concerning her grief, but through his passionate intercession, God answered the request. Her son was raised to life again.
Consider Daniel’s situation. There are dozens of examples where people didn’t understand the word of God, so they gave up on faithfully following His instructions. Daniel receives a troubling message from God and he doesn’t understand it. He is seeking for the meaning. Then Gabriel offers an explanation, but in the end, he is faint, sick, and still uncertain about what God is doing. The ways of God were confusing, but Daniel remained faithful. He did not swerve or turn aside.
The psalmist gives us tremendous hope. He said, “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow” (Psalm 116:3). One of those pesky critters meandered into the path of his life and he had to do something about it. Would he swerve and turn aside? The psalmist is brimming with optimism when he states, “Then I called upon the name of the Lord…I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications” (Psalm 116:4, 1).
Things will happen in your life, and it may be tragic, messy, or simply frustrating. You can’t necessarily control or predict when things will happen, but you can prepare for your response when things happen. Diffuse the anxiety and “return unto thy rest…for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee” (Psalm 116:7). Everything about your life is precious to the Lord because he is not a bit indifferent concerning the death of his saints. Chose to offer “the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and…call upon the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:17).
Paul encouraged Timothy: “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” (1 Timothy 1:19). Don’t swerve or turn aside. Hold faith and a good conscience knowing God is faithful and you are precious in his sight.