Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Canada"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 94:18-19 – When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. (NIV)
It was Canada Day once again, and my gelding, Frank, was pulling our cart in the annual parade. I was riding in the cart with my sixteen-month-old granddaughter, while three of my large dogs ran behind. All was going the way it should until we began descending the hill. Though the hill is only two blocks long, it is very steep, although Frank had never had difficulty manoeuvring it in the past. This year, however, something happened. The road was slippery, and Frank's back hooves slipped under him. His rump almost hit the pavement, but at the last second, he recovered his footing. Unfortunately, this incident frightened him, and he lost his confidence. He set all four feet, refusing to move for fear of tumbling to the ground. With some quick thinking, I twitched the rein directing him to go to the left rather than to proceed forward. He carefully made the turn and continued to follow my lead as I directed him in a circle to the right side of the roadway, where he was able to continue safely to the bottom of the hill.
In the meantime, the dogs, sensing that something was wrong, had become agitated, and Sophie caught her foot in her leash. To free herself, she slipped out of her harness and ran to the side of the road. I quickly pulled Frank out of the parade, and members of the crowd ran to give me a hand. In minutes, we were back on the road again, but the rest of the parade had passed by.
Making a quick decision, I gave Frank the command to gallop, and I began calling, "Coming through, coming through!" as the crowd had fallen in behind the last float. People heard the sound of beating hooves and my calling, and then a clapping, cheering crowd opened up like a pathway in the Red Sea as we hurtled through and drew up behind the last parade entry.
Likewise, sometimes our feet come close to slipping out from under us along the steep hills of life. Something untoward happens, almost tossing us to the ground, and we become frightened and lose our confidence. We don't know what to do or how to proceed, and we simply freeze up. At such times, it is good to know that we are not alone. God is still in the driver's seat, and all we have to do is to trust in His leading. It may not be to continue to move forward right away, but rather to circle around and go in a new direction where the footing is more secure.
In due time, He may once again call us back onto the original track, or He may not. The main thing is that He has us safely and confidently moving forward again according to His will and way, a feat that I suspect brings the angels in heaven to their feet clapping and cheering as we surge ahead in victory.
Prayer: Father God, thank You so much that we can count on You to be in the driver's seat of our lives, as we yield ourselves in trust to You. For those who may find themselves slipping, help each one today to stay calm and follow Your lead, knowing that it is always the best and safest way to proceed. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.