A few months ago I took a job almost an hour’s drive from our home (when traffic is good). It has been an exercise in learning to listen to good, calm music while observing some crazy drivers and not letting their tactics get to me!
Amazingly, the scariest part of my morning drive is about a mile from our home. I enter our interstate on a short, uphill onramp, exiting into three lanes of traffic that are often chock-a-block at 5:30 AM.
Even more amazingly, I have only run out of room at the end of that ramp and had to continue on the shoulder three times so far. But I have had one near miss when someone going very fast suddenly swooped into my lane right behind me, just as I entered it.
Those of us who have tendencies to OCD know that a situation like that can both bring out the worst of our fearfulness and drive us to our knees in prayer.
So it was that I opened my Bible one morning, while working through the vicinity of Psalm 100, and read the following:
Psalm 102:23, “He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days.”
I then noticed that I was in the wrong chapter—I was supposed to have read Psalm 100 and Psalm 101. It was then I started to get scared. Was God trying to tell me something? Was I about to get hit in that on-ramp in ten minutes’ time?
But it was also then that I remembered all I have learned about my God in His Word. He does not let the Bible be used like a fortune-telling tool. Opening your Bible and randomly inserting your finger in it is no more likely to give you the counsel you need for your day than a regular Bible reading plan would! And many, many other believers have read the words of that verse many, many times in the past, then gone on to live a long life!
In fact, God most assuredly does not operate that way in this New Testament day. He does not use fear to control us and would gain nothing by announcing a sudden death in advance, even if it were going to take place.
God is good to those who are His. Some He blesses with long life and others He blesses in a different way. All we can do is confide in Him and drink deeply at the fountain of His Word every day.
With those thoughts and assurances, I confidently got my coat on and went out to successfully navigate that on-ramp once again.
Psalm 100: 3, 4, “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”