Tuesday, December 11, 2001
I was out of the country, and my wife was visiting her father, along with our daughter and son-in-law. She convinced her dad to hike with them back into the woods to the spring where they used to go to get water when she was a little girl. Eventually, they came upon a scene that was printed on her memory like a photograph - that spring gushing from the rocks, just beneath a cave above it. They spent a few minutes exploring and then headed back. That night our son-in-law showed the video he had shot of their little expedition. As the picture panned past the darkened cave, he stopped the video and rewound it to get a closer look. And there, gleaming in the darkness, were the two eyes of a big cat - as in panther or cougar. They had not seen that cat - they had been exploring right beneath that cat -- and they had never known the danger they were in.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Cats That Never Pounced."
I wonder how many of those you and I have had in our lives - the things that could have hurt or destroyed us that we never knew about. The cats that never pounced. In an increasingly dangerous world, isn't it great to know that you are under that kind of protection?
Paul wrote about that security in 2 Timothy 4:1-18. He said, "I was delivered from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom." Now there is one powerful antidote to fear! The Lord is going to rescue me from every threat, except one - the one that's designed to take me home, right on time. That's right on time according to the life plan He made for me before there was a me.
That doesn't mean we don't take precautions, the ones that God directs us to. Paul often continued to preach boldly, even when he knew there were forces who wanted to kill him in the city. But other times he left town quickly or sneaked out of the city in a basket. When Nehemiah and his workers were threatened, he said, "We prayed to our God and we posted a guard day and night" (Nehemiah 4:9). Our faith is not in the our guard but in our God. But sometimes God chooses to protect us through some practical steps He asks us to take.
But ultimately we are safe because Almighty God is watching over us. In just six verses in Psalm 121, it says "The Lord watches over you" five times! It concludes by saying, "The Lord will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."
So, when is the last time you praised the Lord for all those cats that never pounced? For all those times you've been delivered from danger and never knew it! Wait 'till we watch the video in heaven. I think we're going to be amazed at what could have happened that didn't!
When our kids were little, we used to put them to sleep every night singing a little chorus "Safe am I, safe am I, in the hollow of His hand. Sheltered o'er, sheltered o'er, with His love forevermore. No ill can harm me, no foe alarm me, for He keeps both day and night. Safe am I, safe am I, in the hollow of His hand." If you're in the hollow of His hand, you are really safe. If you've never put your life in Jesus' hands, do it today.