Drowning In A Ditch

When the English explorer Sir Francis Drake returned from his fifth voyage around the world, he was caught in a small but intense storm on the Thames River. As his vessel was tossed about and appeared ready to capsize, the old mariner clenched his fists and exclaimed hotly, “Can it be that I who have braved the dangers of seven seas must now come home and be drowned in a ditch!


In a spiritual sense, the implication is of course that our greatest dangers in life often do not occur on the heaving, turbulent sea with its wild billows, but rather in some unexpected area in which we are prone to be spiritually lax or careless. Many times we seem to “gear up” for those areas in which we would expect to stumble. As believers, if we fail to “keep up our guard”, even the strong can become susceptible to faltering in the “easy places”. In relationship to this, the Apostle Paul holds forth to us a needed warning. .. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10: 12).


Years ago a man delighted thousands with his daring fete of pushing a person in a wheelbarrow on a tightrope across Niagara Falls. The crowds cheered him on and were amazed at his fearless act. Some time later however, the daring hero was walking down the sidewalk, slipped and fell on a banana peeling, and broke his hip!


Someone has rightly said that we stumble over pebbles, not mountains! Scripture is replete with warnings such as. . .”Hold fast”…”Watch thou in all things”…”Keep thy heart with all diligence’: ..let us not sleep”.. .”Take ye heed, watch and pray” … and “Stand fast in the faith” These Scriptures should prompt us not to think we can handle the “easy places” of life on our own. Rather, we need to implore Him “who is able to keep us from falling” in all of life.


–Paul W. Brubaker
November/December 1980