”Shouldn’t We Go Inside?” (Proverbs 7:21-23)

The civil defense sirens startled me. It wasn’t the first Tuesday of the month, was this a true emergency? I turned on the television and saw the warning flashing across the screen. This was no drill. Tornado!

 

It was the first month of my medical residency in Denver, Colorado. My apartment was located across the street from the University medical center. I stood on my second-floor balcony and spied several of my neighbors on the street below. I scurried downstairs to join them, confident they would know what to do.

 

A dark grey swirling vortex was aimed squarely in my direction. I had never seen anything so frightening. Even if the tornado did not strike my apartment building, what about the medical center? How could thousands of patients and hospital workers be evacuated in time? Nervously I turned to a neighbor and asked, “Shouldn’t we go inside?”

 

Nonplussed, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Nah. We’re okay. I’ve seen this before. If it gets a little closer we should probably head to the basement.”

 

“Uh…okay!” He was a native of Colorado, me, a newbie transplant from Hawaii. He must know what he is doing, I convinced myself. Agonizing seconds passed, bringing the twister closer. The winds were whipping the trees and debris around me and I was now terrified. Even if others were not leaving, I knew I must. And then, miraculously, the ominous funnel pulled up and the huge storm cloud moved away.

 

We were staring at a threat that could destroy all of us in an instant. Perhaps I was naive, inexperienced in the nuances of tornadoes, but I soon learned that my fears were justified. Five minutes later, the tornado touched down a few miles away and completely destroyed a large warehouse complex. The next day, I confronted the same neighbor who was so confident that the tornado would do no harm.  He also heard about the eventual outcome of the wayward tornado. His cockiness and confidence evaporated as he shook his head and said, “Yeah…we were really lucky. Didn’t think it would do that!”

 

With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. Proverbs 7:21-23 (ESV)

 

I often fall into the trap of false bravado, thinking I can stand up to temptations and dangers of Satan and his schemes. Like the short sightedness I displayed in trusting everyone around me as the tornado approached, in times of crisis, I rely upon my own strength and downplay the threats. The naive and self-assured young man in this passage from the Book of Proverbs is my mirror. I fall victim to smooth talk and clever words of others, all while careening toward destruction.

 

This was my life for many years. This degenerative cycle was finally broken when I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Through faith in His Name, I began to see how trusting in myself and others, while initially compelling, would only lead to further despair. I needed a Savior. I needed God who could provide the perfect answers to life because He had been tempted in all things that I faced but never succumbed to the lies of the world and Satan. He was obedient to God, the Father, and through His life, death, and Resurrection, showed me the better way to lead my life, in service to Him.

 

My confidence in the power of my life would have cost me my life, my eternal soul. Thanks be to God for saving me and granting me the peace that surpasses all understanding!

 

Amen!

 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

 

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