Weekly Devotional by Steve Craig

A Lesson from a Truck Driver’s Story


     I was privileged to speak at a memorial service for a friend of mine this week.  I shared a few scriptures and a short message to those in attendance.  Another man shared some memories about my friend who had passed away, and I returned to the podium to share some of my memories as well.  My friend and I had been co-drivers as an over-the-road team.  We worked together for many years.  As I shared some of our experiences together, I recounted several situations in which we were involved; many happened while I was at the wheel.  In those experiences, situations occurred because of what happened in front of us and ultimately to us.  As my wife and I were traveling back from the service, I began to view such experiences as more than just a truck driving story but a metaphor for some of the things we deal with in life.  When we are faced with unexpected circumstances, we are forced to react to them even if we did not cause them.

     In the realm of operating an eighteen-wheeler, skill, training, and experience can enable a driver to avoid tragedy or at least minimize the damage when a collision is inevitable.  Skill is learned through practice.  Training sharpens those skills and helps the driver improve his or her abilities.  Experience is the wisdom and knowledge acquired by past successes and failures.   All these things contribute to how well a driver handles that which has gone wrong in front of him.  As a Christian, the handling of that which happens to us on the highway of life is influenced by our spiritual skill, training, and experience.   “Skill” might seem an odd word to describe living for God, but the principle is the same.  The ability to walk faithfully with the Lord comes from the practice of doing so.  The more a believer obeys God the more skillful one becomes in following His footsteps.  Training comes from the word of God and continually improves the believer’s walk with the Lord, and further prepares one for whatever circumstances unfold before them.  Experience in every matter which befalls us leads to wisdom and knowledge to fully trust in the Lord.

     In the account of David and Goliath (I Samuel 17), David walked into a situation that was happening in front of him.  The army of God was afraid and was being mocked by the Philistines.  No man of Israel was stepping up for the challenge.  David, a young man, volunteered to go out and fight Goliath.  He ventured forth with what skill, training, and experience that he had and faced the Philistine champion.  David’s skill with a sling came from practice protecting the sheep.  His training had been to be faithful to the task of tending the sheep.  Having fought various beasts which had threatened the sheep in the past, David had some experience in facing dangerous circumstances.  He had learned to trust God and now faced Goliath in the name of the Lord. 

     We should be ready to stand against the circumstances that face us as well.  Life will set an army of trouble in front of us sometimes.  In stature, the Goliath of our troubles can be overwhelming; but with spiritual skill, training, and experience with God, we too can face them.  We must do our best, but know that God gives the victory.

     In Psalm 17 we find a description of dire circumstances:  “From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about” (v.9).  To be compassed about means that the danger is unavoidable.  Know this my friend, though surrounded by trouble, God is still in control.  He surrounds that which surrounds us.  “Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways” (Psalm 139:3).  Knowing that God is with us, we are strengthened, encouraged, and emboldened to face whatever circumstances are happening before us.  Press on dear brethren.  To God be the glory, always.