Don’t you hate it when you call home to see how someone is doing and they tell you they are about to be evacuated?
Unless you live in the midlands of South Carolina, you probably missed hearing about the severe weather that set off household NOAA alert systems and blew a large tree across the railroad tracks about a mile from our home. Praise God, the engineer was not killed when his train plowed into the tree, twisted and flung thirteen of the container cars stung behind him onto their sides, leaking an unknown substance…
Though alive, the engineer was dazed and the first responders, comprised of the wonderful men from our three local police and fire departments could not find the train’s manifest. With the memory of another train wreck in a town not far away and the toxic chlorine cloud of death that took the lives of train and factory workers still fresh in their minds, the men took no chances and moved quickly to evacuate anyone within a mile and a half radius of the wreck.
As neighbors moved “kith and kin”, horses and pets to safety, my husband prepared to do likewise and was heading for the car when the phone rang. A former NJROTC student, now a police officer, called with the “all clear” from the site. The spill was not chlorine.
Apart from local train wrecks, health issues have lead me to pray and seek the wisdom of God’s word along with the counsel of other Christian women regarding the amount of time I have been spending on the road, particularly overnight. Though not what I wanted to hear, the clear answer to my concern has been, “Do not travel to speaking engagements where you will be required to spend the night and leave your husband home alone.”
On the ride back from the National Speakers Association meeting that had me out-of- town the night of the train wreck and impending evacuation of my husband, two dogs, a canary and four chickens, I pointed skyward and asked my friend if she saw the big post-it note hanging there. The one that said, “Trust and obey – Love, God?”
When life changes, trusting God and obeying the clear direction of His leading is not always easy to do – especially when the change is not something you want to hear.
It is easy to rationalize situations and, as a result, take a bounce in the wrong direction. I had wheedled my way around God’s loving guidance by rationalizing that I was not going to an out-of-town speaking engagement. I was going to a meeting.
The famous “wedding scripture” of I Corinthians 13 that begins, “Love is patient, love is kind…” next says, in my own paraphrase, that God’s love abiding in us does not insist on its own way and is not self-seeking. And, in the gospel of John, love is described this way: “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” John 1:6
How thankful I am that God is a God of second chances. Hopefully it won’t take another train wreck for me to get the message and, with God’s help, bounce-back and begin again to both trust and obey His “commands” or guidance.
Now it’s your turn. What is one of your “trust and obey” stories?