Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3546

Jump Start # 3546

Psalms 23:4 “ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

  The other day I was going through some class material that I had taught several years ago. As I was flipping through the pages of notes, I came across a post-it note. It was a statement that I began a class with that Wednesday evening several years ago. I had forgotten that I had read that statement to our church family. It was a terrible incident. It left a scar upon my heart. My daughter was working as a bank teller. That branch was robbed that Wednesday morning, several years ago. The armed robber pointed his gun at my daughter’s head. The statement was telling the church about those events. My daughter was at services that evening.

  Before that day ended, there was a police chase, both by car and on foot. The robber was caught and returned to prison. The FBI trauma team was brought in. I remember my daughter calling me soon after it happened. I raced over to the bank and sat in the parking lot for a long time. I wasn’t allowed to see her.

  Now, more than a decade later, raising her three daughters with her husband and busy in the kingdom and life, she is doing very well. God was good.

  And, all it took was seeing a green post-it note stuck to some class notes to bring a flood of fear, tears and memories racing back. So many things in life will do that to us. A certain song you haven’t heard in a long time, and it takes your mind to a funeral a long time ago. A certain place you haven’t been to in a long time and there awaiting you is a mountain of feelings, thoughts and memories.

  Here are some lessons for us:

  First, in the middle of a tragedy, a crisis or a heartache, it’s hard to know if we will ever see the sun shine again. So many prayers offered. So much concern. So many tears. That valley of the shadow of death can seem so long at the moment. We wonder if we will ever make it to the other side. We wonder if we do make it, what will we be like. Will this moment define us? Will it cripple us? Will it destroy us?

  The fearful disciples, thinking that they were about to die, cried out to Jesus in the storm, “Do you not care?”

  Second, time and life have a way of stuffing those scary moments deep into our hearts, and although they remain there, we don’t dwell upon them. This is the first time in a long while that I had thought about that bank robbery. I’ve heard some say about events in their lives, ‘I think about these things every day.” But the Lord has a way of sending blessings that cover the pain that we have experienced. Since that bank robbery, there has been other jobs, a wedding, babies born, houses moved into and tons of wonderful joys in her life.

  Our eyes choose what we will see. Some never take their eyes off a tragedy. They don’t recognize the blessings from Heaven all around them. They become sour, bitter and even ruined by such things.

  Third, it is easy for one to believe that they are the only one to experience anything tragic. I must admit I don’t know anyone else who was robbed at gunpoint while working as a bank teller. But I know a brother who  recently lost a leg because of an infection. He’s not getting that leg back. I know families who had babies die. I’ve known people who were victims of fraud. I know people who were sued, lied to and hurt, by family members. Our tragedy isn’t the only tragedy.

  We must remember when talking to others and they are in the midst of their storm, that listening is better than trying to retell our story. Very few people know about the bank robbery. We just don’t talk about it. It happened, but we, especially she, has moved on. That’s a key aspect of dealing with troubles. Move on.

  I expect just about each of our readers have their own stories of heartache, tragedy and sadness. But, you also have a story of triumph. Here you are today, years removed, and you are still walking with the Lord. You came through that valley and are now on the other side. And, the longer you live, the more stories of valleys and victories you will have. Emergency runs to the hospital. Those fearful phone calls in the middle of the night. Car accidents. Times when you and your family looked death in the eye, but you made it through safely. Your story is of faith, prayer and hope. Your story can help others. Your story keeps you going.

  I looked at that green post-it note in my old class notebook for a long time today. Do I throw it away or do I keep it? Do I want to be reminded again?

   I decided to keep that note. It not only reminded me of a tragic moment in our family, but it also reminds me of how the great Shepherd has been there for us and helped us.

  I’m asked so often, “Where do you get your ideas to write these Jump Starts everyday?” Sometimes it’s nothing more than finding an old note stuck in a class book years ago.