November 15, 2008
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:1-3
It was a number of years ago a 100-car freight train on the New Haven Railroad was stalled. I mean that train was stopped, you could excuse the expression, in its tracks.
Now, you can guess as long as you want, but you will never figure out what could stop a train of that size and weight.
Go ahead... try... make a guess.
Done? The culprit which stopped a giant train was... here it comes... wet leaves. The leaves caused the wheels of the diesel engines to spin. Without any traction, the locomotives couldn't move, and the train stopped.
A landslide of huge boulders couldn't have stopped the train more efficiently than did those wet leaves.
I think the same thing can be said about us.
Big things like financial disaster, sickness, or death are not always the culprits in messing up peoples' lives. Small things can also stop us.
If you look at your own life, you might be able to identify some "wet leaves on your track" which are making you spin your wheels and stopping any forward progress.
It may be interruptions at the office or the ringing of your cell phone. It could be a boss who seems harsh or a spouse who forgot your anniversary.
Whatever the reason, it's time to get the tracks cleared and make some progress. Thankfully, we don't have to do the job alone. We do have Somebody who can help. We have a God who has shown Himself to be the best Cleaner Upper this sinful, old world has ever seen.
In the Person of Jesus, our sins have been discarded, our eternal future has been affirmed and we will never have to deal with the big and small difficulties of today by ourselves.
With the help of our loving Lord we can be put back on the track and the engine can get going again.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear God, I know that You will help me when my life is derailed. I am also aware that You can brush aside the little things which can frustrate and hinder me. Thank you for Your redeeming grace and the salvation bought for me by Your Son's victory over death. On Him I rely. In His Name I pray. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries