Encouragement 08-27-04

Published: Aug 27, 2004


August 27, 2003 
Encouragement for Today

Finding Sure Footing in a Slippery World 
Rachel Olsen, Speaker Team Member

Key verse:

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of mud and mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  Psalm 40:2 NLT


CRACK - I heard bone break while sharp pain spread through out my foot.  A few weeks ago, I rearranged our living room furniture, and then promptly forgot where I had placed it and walked right into my sofa.  My whole right foot swelled and bruised within seconds of making contact.  It seems I had also rearranged the toes on my foot!

A cast was not necessary but I was now sentenced to wear flip-flops everywhere until my toes healed - including to the beautiful banquet that weekend where I was the keynote speaker.  It's hard to feel sophisticated, authoritative, spiritual or convincing standing before 250 well-dressed women in your flip-flops.  God has his ways of keeping us humble.

No long after that, some good friends planned a gathering to celebrate my birthday so I climbed into my husband's new car, and headed out for lunch with the girls.  The entrance to our subdivision sits on one of the few hills in this beach town.  I came to a complete stop, my car leaning forward down the hill, as I waited for a brake in the busy traffic.  Suddenly my flip-flop-clad foot slipped off of the break and I rolled into the line of traffic.  Looking out the window, I saw cars headed for me in both directions.  With the sandal hanging half off my foot and my broken toe now throbbing, I began stomping around in a panic, searching for a pedal that would deliver me from death.  If the crash didn't kill me, I feared my husband might!

My husband's new car was a manual transmission with a clutch, so my impulse to hit the gas once I was in the middle of traffic only sent me into a near stall.  I thought, "Oh God, help me!"  I managed to find the clutch and the gas and started moving forward again.  I remember watching out the window as the car slowly picked up speed, wondering if I was going to make it to the other side of the road before the on-coming traffic made it to me.  Thankfully, I made it.  I caught my breath, praised God for his protection, took off my flip-flops and drove barefoot to the restaurant.

Before I placed my life in the hands of Jesus Christ, it was a series of crashes and near misses.  I thought I was capable of driving my life.  I thought I was well in control, but my foot kept slipping off of the break when I should've been staying put, out of danger.  I kept stalling out when trying to move forward to do good.  To tell you the truth, I wasn't even sure where I was ultimately going.  All I cared about was having a good time with my friends.  I didn't know just how near I was to death.  Then, Jesus lifted me out of the mud and mire I kept involving myself in and gave me sure footing on solid ground (Psalm 40:2).  Are you in need of a similar rescue from the slippery slopes of this world?

Since the day I relinquished control to Jesus, my life has been rearranged.  It is much more comfortable, pleasing and beautiful this way.  Today, I am no longer in the driver's seat of my life.  I've handed over the keys to Jesus Christ and together we're cruising a narrow path with light traffic and great scenery (Mt 7:13).  The ride can get bumpy at times, but I know I can fully trust my navigator.  After all, He has driven this road before.  I also take pleasure in knowing my final destination will be nothing short of paradise. 

My prayer for today:

Heavenly Father, there are so many troubles, trails and temptations in this life.  Take and keep the key to my heart.  Set me and keep me on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.  May my direction in life be determined by your perfect will, and my decisions be made according to your holy word.  In Jesus' name I pray.

Application steps

Take a few minutes to search the scriptures for guidance and pray regarding any problems you are facing today.   

Reflection points:  

Is Christ in the driver's seat of your life?

What areas of your life are you still trying to control yourself?  (the job, kids, spouse, family, ministry, etc.)

Do you really have reason not to trust God with these areas?

Power verses

You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.  Psalm 18:36 (NLT)

You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.  Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT)

If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.  Mark 8:35 (NLT)

Lead me in the right path, O LORD, or my enemies will conquer me. Tell me clearly what to do, and show me which way to turn.  Psalm 5:8 (NLT)

The LORD is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray.  Psalm 25:8 (NLT)

Additional resources

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

P31 Woman Magazine

Originally published Friday, 27 August 2004.