“You broaden the path beneath me so that my ankles do not turn.” Psalm 18:36
I sprained my ankle rushing to check on my pug, Luci, who’d had a major seizure recently from eating something poisonous. She does that, being one to eat everything that doesn’t eat her first, and several weeks ago she’d gotten into something–again–and flirted with the Reaper–again.
About three days after Luci’s near-date with death, I was in the kitchen with the porch door open letting the sun filter into our chilly house. Luci kept wandering out to the porch (tempting fate I was sure), inviting another “close call” as she foraged for toxic tidbits with which to terrorize me. So, after examining the porch half a dozen times, I’d pronounced the “all clear” and left the door propped open.
Well, I stood at the sink, washing dishes for a while when the thought hit me, “She’s been out there a suspicious length of time . . . Oh, no! Is she eating something again?” I spun around and flew through our entry, clutching the dish towel. In a blind panic, I plunged through the doorway, fell onto the porch, and sprained my ankle.
As I lay gripping my foot, I twisted around–fear still my master–to behold Luci peacefully reclined against the sunlit rail, ears half-mast, eyes relaxed and soft.
She was sunbathing.
You see, fear galvanized me into panicked action, and in my haste to check on her, I plunged blindly out the door–
–and suffered for it.
“You broaden the path beneath me so that my ankles do not turn.”
No, I didn’t go digging for a Scripture to fit my circumstances. This verse was the featured attraction in my study today. It found me, even as I sat hobbled, ankle throbbing, staring at the reminder of the folly of fear and panic and haste. A bitter pill for someone who knows better.
(Ask this expert: “panicking into error” is a Really. Bad. Idea . . .)
Anyway, since Jesus often uses everyday events to illustrate deeper truths, today He used my own words describing the accident to unearth a deeper issue in my heart.
Perhaps it will speak to you, too.
Fear: When fear of the unknown grips me, I imagine the worst. Because I can’t see or understand what’s happening, I question God, “What does the future hold?” For me right now it’s, “Will my efforts ever amount to anything?” “Am I losing my edge, my sharpness, my passion for it all?” “Can I even do this?”
Panic: When panic chokes out God’s voice, I listen to the enemy: “You’re not doing enough.” “You’re wasting time with “small stuff.” “Abandon this dead-end path and change direction while you still can . . . ”
Haste: And I feel pushed to make a decision in haste: “Hurry! Before it’s too late!” “Look at everyone else! You aren’t moving . . . If you don’t get going soon . . . ”
Plunge blindly: And I’m tempted to plunge blindly through the nearest obliging door: “Just do it . . . anything . . . ”
Do any of those descriptions speak to anyone else?
As I look back at my accident, I’m humbled at the irony; while I spiraled in a full-tilt panicked frenzy, Luci rested on the puggy-proofed porch, serene as she basked in the sun.
Oh, to be like that–basking in the radiance of God’s Son, secure and serene in the place He has Bethany-proofed for me! I long to leave the path of ankle-turning fear and panic, blind plunges and hasty decisions, don’t you? Today let’s step onto the “broad path” and walk trusting in God’s care, confident in His plan, as the light of His Word guides us.
Which of the words (fear, panic, plunge blindly, haste) resonate most with you today?1st Photo mine, 2nd photo courtesy of Crestock.com