“Why did God make people?” The traditional Jewish answer is, “Because He loves stories!”
True! Who packed the Bible full of stories? God did! Who constantly told them to His friends? Jesus did! Stories carry truth. Stories build faith. Stories bring glory to God. No wonder He arranges our lives so that we have stories to tell about Him.
Jo was pregnant with Cheryl while Valorie and Leanne were just little tots. We were in the last week of a three-month-long survival training camp in southern Mexico, and I was about to go on a weeklong survival hike. “While you are away,” Jo said, “I will pray Psalms 91 and 121 every day.” (A vital part of the story.)
I left the next day with a small group of men. An experienced missionary led us a day’s hike into the jungle to play the part of a lost hunting party and practice our newly learnt survival skills until other groups of trainees found us—hopefully within a few days.
We scavenged daily for food and for dry firewood to burn to keep us warm at night. One day while following and marking a faint trail, I spotted a long branch about the thickness of a fence post lying across a fallen log. Dry firewood! Alright! I put it on my shoulder and carried my prize back to camp. I dropped it near my improvised cot and lay down to rest before grabbing my machete to hack it into pieces.
At the first blow, my firewood began to bleed! I stared at the gory mess that oozed from the cut in the branch. Then, from a knothole near the middle slithered a four foot-long snake, with a nasty cut in its belly. I immediately stomped on its head, and carried the still writhing serpent to the staff member to identify. Yes, a highly poisonous snake.
Oh happy night! Not only did the snake stay in the branch and not bite me, after a bit of cleaning and roasting it turned into supper—a welcome meal after meagre rations for nearly a week. I also thanked God for answering Jo’s Psalm 91:13 prayer about “trampling the serpent” and Psalm 121:7, “the Lord will keep you from all harm.”
That night I asked myself two “why?” questions. For thirty minutes as I carried that branch down the hill, the knothole had been right beside my head. If the snake had come out and bitten me in the neck or throat, I would have died within seconds. Why hadn’t it? Obviously, Someone with a plan wanted me alive.
After I threw the pole down, the snake could easily have slipped out of the pole and escaped into the bushes. Why didn’t it? Obviously, Someone wanted me to know it was there. Someone who wanted me to tell the story. Someone who loves stories, especially stories that make Him look good.
Like this one.
To Bring Him Glory,
© 2011 Jack D Popjes
Ph: 780 948-0082