Slipper Slides and Training Wheels

Kutter No Training Wheels 19 (Altered, Crop)Some of my early childhood memories made their home in my mind while I lived on Residence Street.  It was a small house across the street from Jefferson Elementary School.

I remember my kindergarten class that had a large slipper slide inside the classroom and the day an interesting visitor walked into class.  It was Peaches, my Boston Terrier who had come looking for me.

Even when I was in kindergarten, I would think of a hundred different places I would rather be than in class.  One day I poured my milk in my lap, just so I could walk home (across the street) and get a change of clothes.

I guess my favorite memory was Dad teaching me to ride my bike. He would run along behind me and hold on to the back of the bike as I pedaled.  I would take a quick peak to see if Dad was still behind me—it was always comforting to see him and know he was there.

We can know the same thing about our Heavenly Father.  He’s promised to never leave us, and we can also know:

  • God stands guard over us: “God can guard you so that you don’t fall and so that you can be full of joy as you stand in his glorious presence without fault (Jude 24).”
  • God’s strength is available to us: “The Lord is faithful and will strengthen you and protect you against the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3).”
  • God encourages us: “God our Father loved us and by his kindness gave us everlasting encouragement and good hope. Together with our Lord Jesus Christ, may he encourage and strengthen you to do and say everything that is good (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).”
  • God has an inheritance for us: “We have been born into a new life which has an inheritance that can’t be destroyed or corrupted and can’t fade away. That inheritance is kept in heaven for you, since you are guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed at the end of time (I Peter 1:4-5).”

Dad had a great smile, and I only need to close my eyes to see it again and to hear his clear voice shout words of encouragement:  “You can do it son—keep pedaling!

You can do it too.  You may need a little help, but the God who is your guard; your source of strength; and, your source of encouragement is ready to give you a little push as you pedal your way through life.

Falling In The Fallout Shelter

IMG_0547 (1)They’ve hung there for over 50 years, and they’ve become so commonplace that they are hardly noticed.  For some reason though, my eyes focused on the FALLOUT SHELTER sign when I entered the church yesterday.

During the 50’s and 60’s, shelters of this kind were stocked with crackers, candy and water to sustain people if their fears of a nuclear holocaust became a reality.  In some districts, public schools would have practice drills, so the students would know what to do in case of an attack.

As an adult, I realize that the viability of some structures was more than just questionable.  There is, however, a shelter is that is much more reliable, and it is found in Psalm 91:4:  “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge. His truth is your shield and armor.”

Whenever I read this Psalm and think of being covered with “his feathers,” I’m reminded of the protective behavior of a pigeon that is sitting on a nest of eggs.  My brothers and I raised pigeons when we were kids, and our curious hands were spanked more than once by a hen who was protecting her squabs.

God does the same for us:  He covers us with His feathers; hides us under His wings; and, He is our refuge, truth, and shield of armor.  This is the same God who said He would never leave or forsake you.

When trouble comes your way, you can be confident that God is your fallout shelter or refuge.  You can fall in to his nest of care by using Psalm 57:1 as a prayer to God:

Be gracious to me, God, be gracious to me, for I take refuge in You.

I will seek refuge in the shadow of Your wings until danger passes.