“Help Lord” Ps 12:1

The Texas morning was heavy with July heat, but I didn’t care. Hopping out of bed, I rushed through my chores of milking the cow and releasing the sheep from their pens. I was seven years old and excited. Today I was going fishing!

Gathering my cane pole, hooks, and stringer in one hand, and grabbing my glass jar of grasshoppers with the other, I dashed out the door.  I had visions of returning with a mess of perch to feed my family of five, with a few extra to treat Lassie—my constant companion and best friend. Considering the joy of my potential catch, the thought of cleaning the fish was of little concern.

I ran the quarter mile to the largest of our three tanks on the home place. A “tank” in Texas is a big man-made pond, and this one had the windmill on it. Hearing that familiar squeak of the plunger pipe moving up and down made my heart race with anticipation.
Reaching the water’s edge, I placed my gear on a large rock and baited my hook. Grasshoppers—ugh! It was too dry to find any worms, so these would have to do. I cast my line into the water. No sooner had it settled than the red and white cork disappeared beneath the surface.

With a rush of adrenaline, I yanked hard on my pole, retracting it quickly. My “catch” on the line’s end slammed into my body. To my horror, I had hooked a cottonmouth water moccasin! I slung my pole and franticly ran circles—with the snake in hot pursuit and gaining ground.

Fear gripping my heart, I cried out, “Help, Lord!” A child’s cry for help—the shortest of prayers, but the most powerful. It goes directly to the ears of our Heavenly Father, seated on His throne of grace.

God immediately sent Lassie to my rescue. Barking and charging down the steep edge of the tank, she created enough commotion to scare off the water moccasin. Hugging Lassie close and thanking Jesus, a memory verse came to mind—“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you…” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV).

Once my heart stopped racing, I decided it was safe to fish again. The day’s catch turned out larger than anticipated, so Lassie had an extra special treat that night.

  J.D. Quinn

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“Face-to-Face with Big Foot”

 J.D Quinn is the department manager for the 3ABN pastoral staff and a great writer. I know you’ll enjoy his devotional. Keep the Faith,Hal
The harvest moon spilled its bright glow through the trees and onto the lot, where my Academy friends and I were carrying out our important assignment. The four of us—fourteen years old and ready to take on the world—were to build a bonfire for our school’s event scheduled later that night.

As we worked to pile wood in the center of the tree-lined lot, we heard it coming toward us—the rumble of dual Glaspak mufflers!  We exchanged glances and held our breath, in hopes he would drive on by. Then we saw it—that infamous shiny black coupe. Everyone in the country knew that 1948 Ford meant trouble.

“Oh, no! It’s Big Foot Roberts!” My mind was racing, but I could not will my feet to move. In a booming voice, he hollered from his window, “What do you punks think you are doing? You aren’t supposed to be way out here. This is my territory! You’d better get out of here right now or I’m going to hurt you bad!” To punctuate his threat, he gassed his engine and those Glaspak mufflers roared.

Big Foot had a reputation for being the biggest bully in the county. A hulk of a man, he preferred to pick on young kids. The moon cast shadows across his scraggly beard and contorted face. Too tall to fit comfortably in his car, his 6’7” frame was hunched over the steering wheel, making him appear that much more ominous.

Standing only twenty feet away from him, we exchanged anxious glances. We were wide-eyed with fear and wondering about our fate. Suddenly, he slung open the car door, spewing curse words I had never heard before. I was the tallest of the four, and he fixed his angry gaze on me.

“Oh, God,” I secretly prayed, “please don’t let him hurt us!”

As always, God’s timing was perfect. Big Foot lunged from his shiny black coupe, falling face down to the ground with one leg dangling out and one leg stuck in the car. You see, he hadn’t received the nickname “Big Foot” frivolously. It was reported that he wore a size 23 shoe, and—I believe—God was the one who caused that over sized foot to hang up between the clutch and the brake pedal.

Sprawled on the ground, he spit dirt as he lifted his face slightly. The light of the moon wasn’t sufficient to tell for certain, but I feel sure his face was flushed with shame. Cursing, he scrambled to get his foot loose, heaved himself back into the car, and peeled out leaving a cloud of dust behind him. I will never forget the echo of those Glaspaks as he headed south.

Thinking back on this incident reminds me of another young man and his “big foot” experience. When David met Goliath, I wonder if—like me—he got a lump in his throat as he surveyed his larger-than-life opponent. Or, was David so certain of the victory that God would give him that his mouth never went dry as the giant of a man spewed his murderous threats toward David?

I know it was with confidence in God’s almighty power that David ran toward the army to meet the Philistine and shouted, “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand…then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD s, and He will give you into our hands,”(1 Samuel 17:46-47). As David slung the smooth stone, God caused it to hit Goliath in his one vulnerable spot—on the forehead, between his eyes—just as God caused Big Foot Roberts to be vulnerable before us, trapping his foot between a clutch and a brake pedal. With God’s help, both “big foot” enemies were eliminated!

What “big foot” experience is haunting you just now? Don’t try to face it in your own strength—turn it over to God! Stand firm in faith. Remember, the battle is the Lords.’ When you’re in His army, He gives you the victory!

Elder J.D. Quinn