PARALYZED WITH FEAR
John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
I have some unusual memories about my tree-planting days. I lived in the mountains of Washington and Oregon with my wife Parris and our infant son Jeremy for about seven months. We lived in a tent that was part of a tree-planting team. We were raising finances for our Bible School. One of my most profound memories came from a terrifying experience that I had. We worked with Weyerhaeuser who had an inspector that worked with our team for quality control. Sometime during our work that day the inspector heard on the radio that there had been an accident on the logging road. Later that day, he heard that the accident had been with a logging truck and a tree-planting crew’s truck. The tree-planter’s vehicle had been forced off of the road. As he got more information, we realized it was one of our trucks and it had been forced off of the mountain road. I was paralyzed with fear. Those drop offs were hundreds of feet to the river below, I knew Parris had been in that other truck making a grocery run to town for our team. That was the last information we were able to receive. Several hours passed before we could return to our camp. Of course, I feared the worst. To my great relief, the members of our team (including Parris) were unharmed, returning to the camp shortly after our arrival.
Parris and the other team members shared what had happened to them with great joy and excitement that evening. Their truck met an oncoming logging truck while rounding a corner, trying to avoid a tragic accident, our driver veered perilously close to the cliff edge of the road, the road gave way and they found themselves suspended over the chasm below, held up by a small sapling pine drive. The vehicle was teetering on the tree, strangely balanced in the middle by this baby tree. After further inspection, the truck tires actually went off the edge onto nothing, somehow suspended in air long enough to find refuge on the tree.
What actually happened that day is anybodies guess. Some would say they were very lucky. Others might say, angels were watching over them. I somehow think the hand of the Lord suspended them in space. Every time I think of this story, I remember a quote of Mark Twain that Dick Mills would often say, “You can’t drown a man born to hang”.
Actually this event was a powerful breakthrough in my walk with the Lord. I had often struggled with fear, afraid that I would lose my wife by some strange quirk of fate. In this episode I learned a little bit about God’s sovereign rule, especially over His sons and daughters. The Lord had a plan for us, nothing could have stopped God’s plan from being fulfilled in our lives. As George Whitefield often said, “we are immortal until God’s work is done”.