When Danger Lurks Beneath


Tragedy struck again this summer along our local river. Two teenaged boys drowned.

I won’t try to recount the details because I really don’t know them. I just know that the river’s currents are notoriously dangerous in a certain area and several have drowned as a result over the years.

I haven’t gone to this unforgiving section of the river to see for myself, but I’ve heard that it can look calm and appealing, that it can look safe. But beneath the surface the currents wait to grab anyone unlucky enough or unwise enough to tangle with them. These currents won’t let go. They bring death. They bring sorrow.

Some of the victims have acted carelessly and not taken warnings seriously. Others have bravely risked—and lost—their lives while trying to save another. And still others found themselves at the mercy of the currents purely by accident, from a fall or from being unfamiliar with the area. 

Today we may not be planning to test a dangerous river, but some of us may be entering life situations where an activity or an attitude or a relationship looks appealing, where on the surface it looks harmless. We might think it’s no big deal. It’s okay. It’s safe.

Let’s be wise. Let’s watch for caution signs. Let’s heed warnings of those who have traveled the road before us. Let’s educate ourselves before heading into unfamiliar territory.

We must remember that danger may be lurking beneath. Let’s not tangle with currents that are sure to grab us and not let us go until they wreak havoc—until they bring sorrow or even death. Let’s be on guard.

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Corinthians 10:12

*What can we do to stay alert to dangers?

*Flickr photo by Mohammed Alnaser (he has some amazing photos of African wildlife on his page)

*Don’t miss out on the “Back At It” Giveaway. Deadline to enter is 6 p.m. Aug. 28. Details are in my Aug. 15 post.

Accidents and Mistakes: God Makes Them Shine

Sometimes I capture my best photos by accident. I didn’t even realize I caught the cardinal above in flight until I checked the shot on my camera’s screen. Woohoo! Gotta love it when accidents shine like that, huh?

Other times while trying to focus a shot, I take the picture prematurely. But every now and then, my mistake looks perfect. Evidently, the camera captures it in mid-focus at just the right moment. I can’t take credit for it, but I sure do celebrate it.

No, it’s not me that makes something good out of my foul-ups. God’s the one who can make my accidents or mistakes shine. And not just where photography’s concerned.

In spite of numerous parenting mistakes, God used my efforts and grew our daughters into the amazing women they are today. When it comes to marriage, God has kept Don and me together through all the ups and downs despite our many shortcomings. He even blesses with shining results in lesser things—like when my baking efforts hit an unexpected snag or when our choir misses a cue.

On a worldwide scale, we’ve all heard about inventions and medical discoveries that happened by accident. The world has benefited by penicillin for years now thanks to one of Dr. Fleming’s petri dishes that got contaminated with mold. God made that accident shine indeed, didn’t he?

Our accidents or mistakes may not have such far-reaching effect as penicillin, but isn’t it good to know that God can take our missteps—and even our sins—and make something good out of them? He is not only a great Creator, he is a great Redeemer as well. He can make us shine. And I sure do celebrate that.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Corinthians 12:9a

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out later this week. Sign up is free and to the right!

*Photo by me

*Don’t miss out on the I Love Chocolate Giveaway 2! 

Also, I’d love it if you’d come over and “like” my new Cheryl Barker, Writer page on Facebook. Thanking you in advance!