April 16, 2003 • By Ed Wrather
(2021 update: We have all been shocked by the sudden appearance of the covid-19 virus and now we have been shocked by what has suddenly happened and is happening in Afghanistan. This devotional is about coping with those sudden interruptions in our lives whether they are bad or good.)
My son, let them not depart from your eyes - keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught. - Proverbs 3:21-16.
Police radios echoed with a strange alert in Espelkamp, Germany one afternoon, "Be on the lookout for a wild boar wanted in connection with a breaking and entering and felonious assault. The boar is of medium stature and build." An older German couple had their afternoon nap rudely and suddenly interrupted by a wild boar, which crashed into their apartment building through a glass door, and then rammed its way into the couple’s apartment. The boar left a trail of blood behind while exploring the apartment, before finally jumping into bed with the couple. The boar bit the man, and then fled the scene of the crime. Ute Bort, spokeswoman for the police department said, "The boar expended considerable criminal energy in committing this act." Thankfully, the man was not seriously injured by the attack.
Many things good and bad occur suddenly in our lives. The couple in Germany were certainly shocked to find a wild boar in bed with them as would any of us. We were shocked yesterday (in 2003) to have a small tornado hit the school in our community. Thankfully, only one person in a mobile home near the school was injured, and he has been released from the hospital. Tornadoes have a tendency to follow a similar path, and I have been told many times about a tornado that hit the school in the past. The tornado, which hit the school years ago, struck as the superintendent was taking a shower, and it blew the roof off his house. It must have been a shock!
Good things also happen suddenly and often unexpectedly. When God speaks and tells you about His call upon your life, for example. When it happens, how you respond, will define the rest of your life. It was a great shock for Moses, at 80 years of age, to encounter a bush that did not burn. It must have been a shock for Noah, to learn that there would be a great flood and that he would be the one to build a boat to save the remnant of mankind. Abraham must have been shocked, when he heard the voice of God call him to leave his civilized country and go to a place he had never been. Jonah was not only shocked, but offended, when God called him to that wicked country of Nineveh. The disciples of Jesus must have been shocked at their call, but they all followed.
God, through the writer of Proverbs, tells how to handle sudden changes, whether they are good or bad. "Keep sound wisdom and discretion." He is talking about the wisdom and discretion that can only come from God. If we are walking closely with God, reading His Word, praying daily in a meaningful way, assembling regularly with other believers, and seeking to serve God as He directs; then we will be ready to respond rightly.
The response we make to sudden changes in our lives will define the remainder of our lives. If we are walking with God, we will not be afraid, but will have His "confidence" as we move forward in the assurance of His power. We will then have "life" no matter what life brings our way.