Never test the Lord
It seemed like a good idea at the time. We had done it before without any mishaps, so what could possibly go wrong? Besides, the odds that an arrow could come straight down in the exact spot it was shot from had to be a million to one. Well, that’s how it all began.
Kyle and I were enjoying the great outdoors looking for a gopher or two to shoot with our compound bows. It was a beautiful clear blue-sky day with absolutely no wind, not even a breeze. I’m not sure who came up with the idea, but we both were up to the challenge and I can remember the glint in Kyle’s eyes as we contemplated how it would go. On the count of three we would shoot our arrows as straight up as possible. Like I said we had done this before in the early days of the children’s size re-curve bow and not only did the arrows fall away from us, we could see them stop in mid-air, turn and find their way back to earth. After the shot, the challenge would be on. Kicking scuff marks in the grass where we stood just in case we could not take the pressure, the first one to move would lose.
When those arrows disappeared out of sight faster than we could count to three we knew we were in trouble.
“I can’t see mine anymore.”
“Mine looked pretty straight”
“Yeah, mine too.”
That’s when we snapped. I think we both broke at the same time and nearly knocked one another over running for cover, but that was a problem. There was no cover. I changed directions at least three times and finally ended up near the old hay rack. Kyle went diving into the nearby shelterbelt just in time to hear an arrow clip a few branches only yards away. I heard a dull thud behind me and gave a huge sigh of relief. We both started to laugh one of those nervous laughs and Kyle confirmed to me that it was his arrow that hit in the trees. I looked around to where I heard my arrow hit and when I located it I became very quiet. A shivering started deep within me and worked its way throughout my body as I slowly approached my arrow. As I stood over it a scripture came to mind that I will never forget to this day. “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
My arrow stood in the very center of the scuff mark I had made. Had I not moved I would either be dead or paralyzed. The odds were in my favor. How could one possibly shoot straight enough? How could the slightest breeze not push just enough? One might argue that it is not possible yet, there it was. God spoke very clearly to me that day. Never put the Lord your God to the test!
Life is very fragile. Eternity is forever. In many ways people are putting God to the test every day. When you hold back from committing your life to Christ; when you withhold forgiveness; when you justify sin in your life; when you live in disobedience to His commands you are walking on thin ice. Don’t put the Lord your God to the test. Live for Him every moment of every day and treat life with great care.
Kevin Petersen is pastor at the Glendive Assembly of God church. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.