Sunday, September 2, 2012
Never Left Behind
“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
When I was five years old, my parents bought a camper for their pickup truck. Every summer after that, my parents and the dog would load into the truck, and my sister and I would pile into the camper and we would travel somewhere across the country. We visited Yellowstone, the Black Hills, Grand Canyon, Texas, Virginia, Niagara Falls and nearly every place in between. Lying on the bed above the cab of the truck, looking out our own picture window as our parents drove down the road, my sister and I witnessed all the beauty which God has given us in the land we live in.
When I was 12 years old we traveled into Canada, following the Lake Superior shoreline as far as Thunder Bay. At one point, we pulled into a small wayside for the usual pitstop. Dad took the dog for a walk, Mom and my sister used the outhouse, and I wandered around aimlessly. After I had explored as much as I could, I decided that I also should use the facilities.
When I came out of the restroom, the camper was no longer parked where I was pretty sure it had been. I scanned the parking lot. There was our truck driving away. My mom and dad were leaving me behind, in a foreign country no less. Ok, maybe it was only Canada, but still.
I started racing for it. I’ve never been athletic and at the time, as an awkward pre-teen, I couldn’t get my legs to move nearly fast enough. I felt as though I was running through knee-deep mud.
I saw my opportunity though, as the truck began to slow down for the stop sign before entering the highway. Just as I was almost there, the back door of the camper flew open.
When my parents were getting ready to leave, they saw my sister climb in the back and figured that I had to be with her, as we were usually inseparable. My sister had thought that for some reason, I had decided to ride in the cab of the truck with our parents. Until she looked through the window into the truck and saw that I wasn’t there. She had pounded on the camper window, but with the truck window in between, they hadn’t heard her. That was when she took action and threw open the door.
As I got to the camper, she reached down, grabbed my hand and pulled me in just as my dad hit the gas and turned into the highway. My parents didn’t realize until hours later when they stopped again that I had almost been left behind.
Luckily, we never have to worry about being left behind. Whenever the trials of life are bombarding us, when we feel like giving up, when we just can’t run fast enough, when we feel like we will be left behind, all we have to do is look up. God will be there with a strong hand reaching down to us, to pull us into His embrace.
As a side note, as soon as we got home from that camping trip, Dad installed an intercom system between the cab of the truck and the camper. With the push of a button, we would be able to communicate with whoever was in the front seat and they could likewise talk to whoever was in back.
We also have a direct intercom system to our heavenly Father. Prayer.
Heavenly Father, thank you for always being there for us, reaching down to take our hand whenever we are in need. You hear our every prayer, you will never leave us or forsake us. Amen
(This is the devotion which I shared at the Green Lake Christian Writers Conference on August 22. And here I am on the big stage sharing this crazy story.)