Stumbling Block

Friday, October 11, 2019
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Psalm 69:6a – O Lord God of the armies of heaven, don't let me be a stumbling block to those who trust in you. (TLB)

Philippians 1:10b – That you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble]. (AMPC)

Even though I regularly ask God not to allow me to be led into temptation, it never occurred to me that I might lead someone else there. In my senior year in Bible school, I was ignoring the 9 p.m. curfew imposed on dorm dwellers.

After a night of study, the sweetshop near my dorm was a big temptation. I would unlatch the window of our ground floor room before I left. There was a dark park between my dorm and the goodies. So, usually along with others, our arms filled with snacks on the return trip, we'd run all the way across at top speed, shrieking. Surely, such behaviour would deter whatever predator might be lurking in the bushes to intercept us. Fooling around like this has probably always gone on with hungry students away from their home refrigerators.

I was alone one night when I did the snack run, over and back to the window, opening it and putting the sweets inside, then climbing in myself. But as I turned to the latch, a large man stood there, knuckles gripping the sill as he began to hoist himself up. He didn't look like a student.

In a crisis, I freeze like a popsicle. Standing immobile, I could barely pass this information along to my roommate, asleep across the room. "Someone seems to be climbing in the window," I squeaked, as my vocal cords gave out.

My roommate leaped straight out of bed, pushed me aside and ran to the window, slamming it down on his hands and holding it there while she screamed at the top of her lungs, "HELP! HELP! HELP!" Dorm doors immediately swung open, up and down the hall. Women came running with whatever they thought of as weapons: baseball bats, kettles of boiling water… Someone called security, and they came racing up to capture him.

The next day, my roommate asked to be reassigned.

My lack of regard for the consequences had terrified her, frightened others, and further blighted the already low life of the intruder. I never thought how clearly this good outcome demonstrated God's loving care, especially given my ignominious part in it. I had a lot to learn, and still do. But someone said, "You know that you're on the right road when its all uphill." Thinking about the results of our actions in regard to others is a life's work, undertaken with daily two-way prayer and meditation.

1 Corinthians 10:32a – So don't be a stumbling block to anyone. (TLB)

Prayer: Dear God, we come to You, forsaking our arrogant pride and self will, shameful failure and loss. We throw ourselves at Your feet in dismay, confessing our weakness and relying only on You to bring us into Your joy and light. How thankful we are that You invite us to come, and how happy we are to obey. In Your Son's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing, Rose.

    Another great story with an important lesson. Thanks, and blessings, Rose!

    Hi Rose,
    God bless you as you continue to write for Him!

    Such a good reminder of my weakness, consequences of behavior and His strength. I recognized you early in this message. Blessings!

    Thanks, Rose, for sharing this hair-raising lesson with us. That must have been a terrifying experience. Isn’t God good to use our youthful follies to point people to Christ instead of becoming a stumbling block(head). Blessings.

    Dear Rose,
    But what happened to the intruder? How does the story end?
    Thank you for your scripture and Prayer.
    Keep writing about our Lord’s victories.

    Hello Rose,
    Quite a frightful experience that you and your classmates experienced but thankfully the Lord’s presence provided the right action for safety to all. Our Lord is always on duty for us.
    Thank you for the writings you do.

    Thanks for a good reminder today Rose!

    Thank you, Rose. One more interesting and this time, amusing, incident from your amazing life to give us a biblical lesson.

    Great job, Rose. Good illustration!

    Hi Rose,
    Thank you for sharing this life experience with us. Sometimes some lessons in life are learnt the hard way, but it’s the ones we remember. This is a good cautionary tale with an insightful message to be mindful of the effects of our actions on others and to keep our eyes on God and rely on Him.


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