I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. ... Psalms 40:1-3a
"Then the bottom just seemed to drop out from underneath me."
That's an expression many of us have used to describe a totally negative and unexpected event. When most of us use that line, we mean it in figuratively.
Dan Sligh and his wife say it literally.
The husband-wife team was going camping. They were crossing a bridge which spanned the Skagit River when something unexpected happened. Unbeknownst to them a truck had hit one of the overhead girders on the bridge, weakened the structure, and caused a massive structural failure.
Speaking from a hospital room where he and his wife were recovering from minor injuries, Sligh explained "the bridge in front of us disappeared in a 'big puff of dust.'"
Sligh reacted quickly, but not quickly enough. The truck slid over the bridge's edge and fell 50 feet into the water. As they fell, Sligh and his wife braced themselves for impact and hung on.
In writing this devotion I am fully convinced most of us will never find ourselves on a bridge where the road disappears. That being said, I am just as sure most of us will encounter times when we are on unsafe and unsure footing, when it seems the bottom has dropped out from under us.
The arrival of a painful or terminal illness, the betrayal of a friend, the loss of a job or loved one, can all put us on some unsure footing.
When that happens, I hope you will hang on. No, I don't expect you to try and hang on to whatever is causing you sadness and hurt. When something underneath you is failing and falling away, it is no good trying to hold on to that thing; it will just drag you down with it.
The smart and spiritual thing to do is ask the Holy Spirit to brace your faith in the crucified and ever-living Savior. Brace yourself and, by faith, hold on to the Lord who
1.has promised to be with you in difficulty;
2.has promised He and you can carry any problem which comes your way;
3.has promised to take you through your problem or take you away from that problem.
That's what King David did. From experience he tells us what will happen when we trust our Lord. He wrote, "I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the world is a sinful place and even Christians experience times when the bottom seems to be dropping out from under us. At such moments may we remember that You will lift us up and put us on the Rock of Safety: Jesus. In His Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries