I don’t want to become a death statistic. In 2003, the National Safety Council described the average American’s likelihood of death due to a number of accident-related causes. They determined that a person’s chances of dying due to drowning are 1 in 1,134. Of course, the odds would be higher or lower depending upon the frequency of the person’s exposure to bodies of water.
One night, a ship on Lake Michigan had been caught in a bad storm. The ship’s captain had to navigate through a narrow passage with rocks on either side. Fearful that the ship would sink, one woman (who didn’t want to become a death statistic, either) asked the captain, “Are you sure we will survive this storm?”
“But do you know where every rock is?”
The captain calmly assured her, “No, but I don’t need to know where every rock is. I just need to know where it is clear of rocks, and stay on that path.”
Staying on the charted path is the key to surviving and thriving in the storms of life. The spiritual term for this staying power is “abiding.” It simply means doing what God wants us to do, regardless of the circumstances.
What does God want us to do? Here are a few things:
- Obey authority
- Love one another
- Cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit
- Live holy lives
- Read the Word
- Be faithful
- Share the gospel
When we follow the path God wants us to take, we will stay clear of the dangerous obstacles which line our course. We will be in the center of God’s will. This is real staying power.
The man who does not learn to wait upon the Lord and have his thoughts molded by Him will never possess that steady purpose and calm trust, which is essential to the exercise of wise influence upon others in times of crisis and difficulty. — D. E. Hoste
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.