For a few years we lived in a wonderful old farmhouse on a dead-end road within walking distance of the Kokosing River. It was a beautiful place to live. This is a classic re-post of an incident that will always live in my heart.
When a Dad and a boy and a dog take a walk in the country, if the Dad walks a mile the boy walks two and the dog five. That was the way of things one autumn afternoon on the banks of the Kokosing. Kyle climbed on rocks. Ginger chased her fancy up the hills and ran ahead scouting for us. Then she would circle back and trot panting at our side for a while before shooting off again. I walked with a stick, ambling slowly along enjoying the sound of water over rocks and the scent of autumn that hung in the air. The leaves were falling steadily into the water and along the bank. A couple hard frosts had brought on the color and killed off the flies and mosquitoes.
A wall of rock ran up on our left. We walked northeast along the river on our right following a fisherman’s path. At one point Kyle left the dirt path and climbed up onto some rocks. They were covered with leaves and drying vegetation. I was a few paces ahead when I heard him cry out. It was not a little call for help but a terrified scream. He had fallen into the hole obscured by brush. I looked back and I could see him clinging to the rock and trying to keep from falling further into the hole. Later he told me that one of the reasons he was so frightened is that just before the ground gave way beneath his feet, he saw a snake slide into the hole.
When I looked back I could see that he had fallen down between two rocks into a hole about five feet deep. He had no way of knowing that his feet dangled only eight or ten inches from the ground. The frightened snake was no threat and he was in no real danger. All this was immediately evident to me, but his cry was so desperate, so pitiful. I ran to him, bounded up on the rock and pulled him from the hole. The fear on his face and the desperation in his voice stirred my soul even though I could see he was in no real danger. I was only rescuing him from his own panic. He clung to me for a moment with a hammering in his little chest.
We both enjoyed a good laugh when I showed him that he was never really in any danger. We walked home. He walked a little closer to me on the way back. The sun was well on it’s way down the sky, and we decided it would be a good time to see what Mom was planning for supper.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had the bottom fall out on me a couple of times. It throws a scare into you. But the Word promises that the Lord will spring to the aid of his children when they cry out to him in desperation. He knows exactly how much danger we are in. He knows the fear that torments our hearts, and He knows the end from the beginning. So when the bottom falls out and we are plunged into fear, the right thing to do is cry out to out father. Sometime He will deliver us from danger. Sometimes he will deliver us from our own panic, and then we walk a little closer to Him on the way home.
“I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)