Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Rolling Barrel and the Heavenly Help

It happened like this, no matter what Sam says. Well, mostly. 

A few weeks ago, Sam wanted me to buy some agricultural bread from the bread store to feed the fish. The $9 basket seemed a better value than the $6 basket, so I went for the big one. 

The back seat of my car was completely full of bread when I left the store. That wasn't a problem. Until I got home. There was nowhere to keep all the bread except an old olive barrel. I bought it for $10 years ago, and it's very handy for storage... for someone at least six inches taller than I am. 

Nevertheless, Sam, who is a full foot taller than me, thought it was an excellent storage barrel for our fish bread. I loaded it to the rim. 

Every afternoon since then, Sam and I head to the lake. His walking is not as steady as it used to be, nor as fast, so I usually get our bread out. That wasn't a problem as long as the barrel was full. Yesterday, however, there were only a few loaves of bread on the bottom of the barrel. 

I was determined to use all the bread before I bought more because the barrel was dirty inside. It needed a serious cleaning. To make matters worse, at some point, I had failed to screw the lid on tight enough, and rain had leaked in. The bottom was yucky. To put it nicely. The aroma was not lovely. 

So... I took the lid off as usual, and looked inside like I always do. It was a long way to the bread at the bottom. The only sensible thing I could think of at the moment was to stand on tiptoe and lean over into the barrel. 

Usually, I can reach the bread, but, yesterday, my reach was a few inches too short. I leaned over just a little bit more. And then, the unthinkable happened. 

The barrel tipped over and flipped me inside. 

Barrel and silver-haired woman started rolling, headed down the hill. My legs were kicking. I was yelling. Sam was laughing. The lake was getting closer. 

I considered what it might be like to drown inside an olive barrel with old bread and smelly goo. It didn't seem like a happy ending. 

I prayed for help. 

I don't want you to think I waited to pray until I was almost rolling into the lake. My first prayer in this little episode was when Sam and I headed to the lake, that we'd make it there and back without him falling down. (I didn't think to pray that I wouldn't get caught in the olive barrel, but I will today.) 

That prayer continued when my feet left the ground and headed in a wrong direction. When I yelled HELP, I was not talking to the 86-year-old man who is so unsteady on his feet that he's barely able to stay upright. I was addressing the King Of The Universe who is fully competent to handle keeping the stars in the sky and well-preserved, barely-senior-citizens out of the lake at the same time. 

I needed rescue, and fast, so I turned to the One who could help. (I might have also suggested from inside the barrel that I didn't want to get my cute pink top and khaki capris dirty. But we won't mention it.)

Divine assistance arrived a little later than I expected it. It did, however, arrive before I rolled into the lake. 

The barrel hit a stump and stopped. 

The sudden impact gave me a little whack. Sam was still laughing when I crawled backwards out of the barrel. After I got out, I was happy to find that I had been spared from drowning and, miraculously, my cute clothes were spared from stink and goo! 

Unfortunately, I forgot to get the bread on my way out of the olive barrel. I did not go back inside.

There are so many lessons to draw from this little scene in my calm and uneventful life that I hardly know where to start. I'm sure you can manage most of the lessons on your own. The most important point, however is not to get a shorter barrel or to screw the lid on tighter. 

The most important lesson is to understand Who's in charge and willing to help in time of need, and that's God Almighty. King of All Kings. God above all Gods. He's the beginning and the end. The Alpha and the Omega. He knows the number of hairs on my head. When my feet left the ground, He already knew about the barrel adventure I was about to have. 

He knows me, through and through. He loves me, despite how much trouble I am. He helps me, despite how many crazy scrapes I get in. 

My help comes from the Lord. Always by my side. Always ready in time of trouble. Sometimes He uses human hands to help, and sometimes He uses stumps, but my help always comes from Him.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea..." Psalm 46:1-2 nasb

"My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth." 
Psalm 121:2 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Happy Puppy and Loving Everyone

#disciple #answeredprayer #help #Jesus #linesfromleanna

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