The Siren's Wail

Sunday, September 4, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Give To Our God Immortal Praise"1 (Lyrics)

Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (ESV)

When people like me live to be aged, we have been through a myriad of peaks and valleys in our faith journey. When I was 32, I was finding my way out of a difficult spot in life and learning to take care of myself in the world. I suppose that I thought that I was in control of my life, and, in the decision-making parts of it, I was. I had made decisions that allowed me to get through college to earn my state teacher's credentials and to get a job. I was grateful to be at that point, even with very low teacher's pay, but I was in need of encouragement.

I found a lovely poster with a sailing vessel reeling through stormy waters. The ship's captain seemed unaware of the danger as he navigated the seas. The text underneath the picture read, "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."

An agnostic co-worker came into my classroom, looked over the rim of her glasses, and peered at my poster. Then, she looked at me with her piercing blue eyes. With a satisfied tone of voice, she commented, "You say that you are a Christian, but I think that you are a humanist." I was shocked to realize exactly what the poster reflected about me. A siren wailed a warning to my soul.

I was catapulted into action to adjust my thinking in a big way, because I was veering in the wrong direction. I removed the poster from the wall and placed it in the trash. That Sunday, I returned to church.

What a joy it was to return to Christian fellowship and to refresh what I really believed. Only God is the Lord of my life. My Father had wisely used my unsaved friend to sound a siren's wail of caution.

Our precious Lord can use anyone or anything to prompt us through the Holy Spirit. I am so grateful for His warnings, which can be as quiet as a whisper or as loud as a siren's wail to protect His children from going against His will.

Let us think about the ways that God has protected us by using warnings that vary from subtle to glaring. What happens when we pay attention — or ignore them? We can pray, asking God to lead us to safer ground and then to teach us to change our behaviour as we are prompted. We can turn to mature Christians for counsel and talk with our pastor when needed. We must not ignore the warnings. Focus on — and heed — the roadblocks that give a siren's wail, so that we don't go outside of God's will.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You for Your protection as, for each of us, You light our pathways and guide us into obedience to You, our loving Father. You know that we can easily be deceived, and You have given us Your holy Word to teach us Your ways. Guide us into obedience with love. Amen.

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

Karen Milam <>
Penn Valley, California, USA

Send your feedback to the author

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks, Karen, for sharing such an inspiring story.

    Amen Karen. Listen to those warnings is SO VERY important.

    Thanks, Karen. This shows how important our witness is when a non-Christian notices and rebukes!

    Isn’t the role and function of a Christian to heed the warnings and listen to sweet wisdom provided? Beautiful blessings.

    Hi Karen!
    Isn’t it amazing how our loving, all-knowing God uses so many ways to get our attention…even an unsaved person…as you shared:
    Thanks for sharing this powerful devotional!
    Bless you.

    Thank you, Karen, for another very encouraging message. Yes, we never know just when and how the Lord arranges happenings in our daily lives that prompt us into taking the right path. The path He wants us to follow and enjoy is the best outcome for us. Blessings for your special writings.

    wow that was good!!!
    That was so so good!!!
    God is sooo good!!!!
    Just keep going in Christ, we are really never alone, God bless you Karen.
    Thank you so much!
    From yet another sister in Christ.

    Hi Karen,
    Thank you for your lovely article of Proverbs 14:12. I work as a chaplain to university students in British Columbia. Some Christian students I meet do lean toward a more humanistic ideology and your post is a good warning and reminder for them and all of us that Christ Jesus is our captain, savior/master, and guide in life through the Spirit.
    The peace of Christ be with you.

    Hi Karen,
    What an amazing way God helped you to get back on His path for you!! How blessed you were to open your eyes to what was being said to you. It is so true that our lessons come in many different ways and God helps us to see them.
    I find it is always helpful to look back and see where God has helped us mature in our faith. I have just been talking to my granddaughter about a similar topic. She wanted to know why my desire as a teenager never came to be. I tried to explain that God put things in our path that help us to go along the path that He has planned for us. We as humans do not always make the wisest decisions, even though we might think we are. Remembering all the ways God has worked in our lives helps us to be grateful and comforted. It also helps us to help others see that God will be there for them, even if at the moment they are struggling with how their life is going. We cannot see the bigger picture as God can.

    Thank you, Karen, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Praying you are not affected by the wildfires raging in the Western parts of the country. Blessings.


PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.