How many of you have ever been thrown a curve ball? You’re walking straight and confident in one direction, and you feel comfortable with that pace. You don’t have to overthink anything, your footing is sure, and your expectations are met. And then, it happens: life throws you a curve ball! You weren’t expecting it; your straight ahead paved path takes an unforeseen turn.
Last week we talked about “trustworthiness.” On being a person who is trustworthy, someone that people can rely on. But let’s be bluntly honest: as hard as we try, as good as a friend as we strive to be, we all fall short. At one time or another, we dropped the ball and let someone else down. There is One, however, who never falters: there is One on whom we can completely depend. There is One and only One whose trust we can take to the bank.
David sure had a lot of curve balls thrown at him. And he didn’t even play baseball! But he was a shepherd. One day, along came a lion. And another day, along came a bear. Totally unexpected curve ball, and very dangerous. Beyond David’s natural ability to overcome. He was a meager shepherd boy, the youngest of his brothers, sent out into the field to care for his father’s flocks. It was certainly not by his own physical strength or natural ability that he was able to overcome these mortal threats. Check out David’s confidence in going to face Goliath:
“I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” I Samuel 17:34-37
Because David had experienced God’s trustworthiness to come to his rescue and save him before, he had all confidence that God would vindicate this Israelite young soldier to defeat a blaspheming pagan challenger. And you know the story: God came through for him!
In Psalm 28:7 David proclaims, “The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in Him with all my heart.”
“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
When I was in college, I used to drive back and forth between my grandparent’s home in Arizona, and Pacific Christian College in Fullerton, California. Basically it was a 7-8 hour drive, with not much but a whole lot of desert in between. On one trip I was returning, alone, from my grandparent’s house. I think I was somewhere in the middle, between Blythe and Indio. My car started to overheat, and steam began to pour out from under the hood. I was frightened and alone. I pulled over to the side of the road, but I didn’t want to lift up my hood, because I was afraid of who might stop and help me. I leaned my head forward on my steering wheel, and prayed,
“God, please help me, and keep me safe.”
Immediately, I looked up into my rearview mirror and I saw a semi truck about 200 feet behind me. No one else was in sight. And then, in my peripheral vision, I caught a small sedan in view that pulled directly in front of me and stopped. It was like it literally came out of nowhere. There was nothing but the semi truck in my rearview mirror. I had a peace that came from my trust in God, and I knew I was safe. There were two people in the front seat. The driver got out and asked me if I needed help. I never saw the passenger, only a shadow. The driver immediately lifted the hood, put his hand straight down in and pulled up a broken belt. He handed it to me and said, “Here is your problem. There is an exit about a mile and a half ahead. Wait till your car cools down, and you should be able to drive over there and get some help.” I was elated! I knew God had sent me an angel! I said, “Thank you so much!” He closed the hood, and said, “May God bless you.” And I said, “He already has!”
We both got back in our cars. He pulled forward and left. I shut the door of my car, locked it, and said, “Thank you Jesus, so much for helping me!” I looked up and back into my rearview mirror, and this same car was behind me again. There was no way he could have driven up to the next exit, turned around, and made it back behind me in such a short time. He pulled around in front of me, and I knew God and sent him back. God taught me a valuable lesson that day: not only to trust Him completely, but also to give Him the glory when He blessed me. The passenger remained a still shadow in the front seat, and the driver came around to me again. He opened up his trunk, and in it he had a tow rope. He hooked it to the back of his car, and to the front of my car, and he said, “I’ll tow you to the station at the next exit.” And he did.
“But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
I put my trust in my God when I was 19 years old and afraid. And my God proved trustworthy! He kept me safe and took care of me.
So what about you? What is your bear? What is your lion? What happens when life throws you a curve ball, and the path you’ve been walking takes an unexpected turn? Can you say, like David,
“But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.” Psalm 13:5
“I trust in you, my God. Do not let me be disgraced.” Psalm 25:2
“Commit everything you do to the Lord [even if it is a new way] : trust Him and He will help you.” Psalm 37:5
Bear, lion, or giant; you can trust in the Lord: He will never fail you!
When your bear turns into a lion, or when your lion turns into a 9 foot Philistine, do you put your trust in the Lord? Do you allow Him to be as big and powerful for you in your life as he was for David? As He was for me? You can always truth in the Lord, He has and will continue to prove Himself trustworthy!
Speak Truth Love