Earlier, I mentioned I broke my right hip while Pilot and I camped over Thanksgiving. What I didn’t mention were the gators which lined our path as we rode bikes mere hours before my fall.
This park in southeast Texas is known for its overabundance of alligators inhabiting the lakes in the park. That’s fine. I have no problem with gators staying where they belong.
In. The. Water.
The day after Thanksgiving, as we rode the trails around several lakes, we counted twelve gators ranging in length from three to over six feet within a fifteen minute period of time.
On. The. Trail. NOT in the water.
When we met some hikers who told us there were two six foot gators stretched across the full length of the trail facing each other up ahead, I was cautious. When we met a man who said he saw an eight to ten foot gator on the edge of the trail in front of us, I told Pilot I wanted to turn around.
Always the adventurer, Pilot thought we should keep going. I said no and turned around; realizing we’d still have to run the gauntlet of more alligators until we made our way clear of all lakes.
Each time I came upon one of these gators, I remembered what David told King Saul before David went out to face Goliath in battle. Substituting gators for lions and bears.
As far as I was concerned, these prehistoric reptiles where as big a threat as any lion or bear. I don’t care how sluggish they looked to the unsuspecting passer-by, I gave them as wide a berth as I could without running into the gator lying in wait on the other side of the trail.
And I didn’t care how much Pilot wanted to get up close and personal with the ten-footer, I wasn’t about to.
So I couldn’t help but laugh after I fell and broke my hip. I’d escaped harm from the mega-gator, only to break my hip back in the safety of our campsite. Too funny.
You may never have to stare down alligators which block your path, but I bet you’ve faced your share of tests, trials, and uncertainties which are just as fierce. Even more so.
None of us will get through this life unscathed without being touched by pain and sorrow.
Fortunately, we don’t have to travel down these paths alone. No matter where we are, what type of bear or lion or gator we face, God is with us when we call out to him. Whether we feel like it or not. He will never leave or forsake us. He is our rescuer, our shield, our defender.
It may feel like as soon as we move past one gator, there’s another, larger, one waiting around the bend. And there just might be.
The key, however, is to remember the God who already delivered us from the jaw of the previous gator will deliver us from the next.
Even if the next is a broken hip.
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“The Lord who saved me from the claws and teeth of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!”
Saul finally consented, “All right, go ahead,” he said, “and may the Lord be with you!” 1 Samuel 17:37 (TLB)
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