9 If you make the Most High your dwelling– even the Lord, who is my refuge– 10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
This is a picture of the actual snake!
I came face to face with one of my greatest fears tonight. A HUGE black snake. I hate snakes! Can not stand them. I was born afraid of snakes and heights from day one. Tonight while I was cutting the grass I saw what looked like a 15 ft long snake in the grass. I freaked out, and steered the mower straight towards it with the intent to chop it’s head off. O.k., not really I was too scared to even get that close. My neighbor came over to help remove the snake. (Yes I really am that much of a wimp). He said there was no reason to be afraid, “it’s not gonna hurt you.” I beg to differ!! A half hour later the black snake was back climbing a tree in our yard. I was reminded of the above verse as comfort. If you make the Most High your dwelling -no harm will befall you! I won’t be trampling any snakes or serpents, but I thank God that we have the power, authority, and protection. Thankfully, he also holds the power to keep me from having nightmares.
“When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan…” Joshua 4:2,3
We’ve had a lot of mile”stone” moments here at the Skybacher household. Our youngest son gave up his binky, our third child picked up her bike and rode away on it, the kids scored their first goals of the spring soccer season, lost teeth, my father-in-law turned 60, the list goes on, and so does life, very rapidly. Often times it goes by so fast we almost forget to take time to celebrate the little mile”stones” that God blesses us with along the way.
Joshua stood at the Jordan River at flood stage, with God’s people. They needed to get to the other side. The Lord told him to take the Ark of the Covenant into the water and they would be able to cross. They crossed the river just like God said they would. It was a mile”stone” moment! But, before they would leave they were directed to grab 12 stones from the riverbed. The Bible says Joshua took the stones and put them in their camp as a monument. It was a reminder of the mile”stone” God had brought them through. There stood 12 reminders of the amazing thing God had done in each of their lives.
So what mile”stones” have you had in your life recently? Have they flown by without any thought or recognition of the God who created you? Thank Him! Write it down! Celebrate! those mile”stones” today!!! Feel free to leave a comment about the mile”stones” you’ve had in your own life.
I just had a conversation with some of my senior students tonight about future plans. They had “Big Plans” they just weren’t exactly sure what those plans would be. It got me thinking about my own senior year and the plans before me. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm, plans to give hope and a future.” I wondered to myself if God had laid out the plans he had for me for the next 15 years after my senior year, if I would have accepted them. I had to admit if i knew what God would take me through in advance I probably would’ve rejected it. It was just too scary, too hard, too unreal. I’m thankful that the verse says “He” knows the plans! He’s the one in control. It doesn’t say You (John) know the “Big Plans” I have for you! He knows the plans and the plans he’s had for my life are far beyond what I could have asked or imagined. I played soccer in the yard tonight with an 8 year old who looks a little like me and is passionate about sports! Simply amazing! That conversation I had with those seniors was part of the job God has called me to. Wow!!! I can’t wait to see what “He” has for the future for myself and those seniors. I know He has “Big Plans”!
“Pride leads to disgrace but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
I was asked to run some activities for a local pre-school for their physical fitness week. I did my usual routine and brought a costume and did one of my alter ego characters named “Marty”. Marty is a blind ref that continues to enforce rules even when there is no game. Marty was a huge hit, maybe not with the kids but the teachers watching the skit thought it was hilarious and this only fed my ego as I continued to look for more and more laughs. I left that day feeling pretty proud of myself and thinking how funny I was. When I picked up my own kids from school that day, I saw a few of the moms who continued to build me up about how great and funny I had been. I had a conversation with one of the moms from the pre-school outside and was thinking I would never wanna be famous. But, I really enjoyed all of the laughter that day. As I left that conversation I had a quick thought of “Lord keep me humble.” I walked my kids to the car and we backed out to head home like we always do. CRRREEEeeekk! That’s the awful sound I heard as I backed out! OH NO!!! I looked around to see who had seen my stupidity. There stood the mom who had just commented on how funny I was earlier. “Was that your car?” “Yeah that’s mine.” “Oh crap!! Sorry!” Pride brings disgrace…I haven’t been that humiliated in a while. I think next time I’ll choose humility from the start, and get the wisdom that comes with it.
The Bible is full of amazing stories. Many of us have heard them several times before, so they’ve lost some of their wow. But go read Mark 5 about the demon possessed man. Go read about Jonah. Go read Acts 16:16-40 when Paul and Silas are set free from prison. Go read the crucifixion story. Go read about the resurrection! The Bible is filled with amazing stories of simple people used and transformed by God!! Simply amazing!!
I finally took a day off today!! I needed it. We had a weekend packed with soccer, a basketball tournament, 1st communion parties and summer camp training.
Today though I was flooded with emotion of how quickly time moves. The day started with Ty so excited to tell me he had lost another tooth. Just getting a moment to breathe and see how big my own children have grown right before my very eyes was overwhelming. Then this evening I went to see my grandfather in the hospital. He’s no longer the strong figure I remember, as I watched him struggle to breathe. Again it was overwhelming to see how fragile life is.
I haven’t had many days were I can even gain clear perspective because life is just that fast. Tonight I go to bed with the knowledge that life is good, fragile, and challenging. But through it all God loves us, and that is overwhelming!