A mother and son lived so close to a railway bridge and nearby station that their home was called Bridge House. This close proximity did not, however, prevent them from frequently being late for a train!
On one such occasion, as they were preparing to leave the house, they heard the train coming toward the bridge. Although warned not to, the boy rather arrogantly ignored his mother and ran to stop the train leaving the station before he and his mother could get there. He ran very fast, actually managing to arrive on the platform as the train was still approaching. Suddenly he slipped on some salt, went crashing down with an arm and a leg dangling over the platform edge as the train came in, slowing, but still travelling far too fast to stop before reaching the boy.
All the horrified mother saw was her son disappear from her sight and the train rattling forward towards him at a deadly speed. She then prayed, ‘Lord, please don’t take him yet.’ She realised, even at this crisis point, that His will was Sovereign and her son belonged primarily to the Lord, not to her.
I was that son, and, thankfully, I was okay. I quickly calculated that only a quarter of my body was dangling over the edge. If I kept calm (which I did), I wouldn’t fall over and be killed instantly by the train. I quickly rolled in the other direction and was helped up by a young rail guard who, as white as a sheet, had seen me fall.
Do we truly live under the understanding that everything we are and have belongs to the Lord – including our children? They belong to Him, not to us. Do we even consult Him when we advise our children on career or marriage issues? Do we challenge them to? Why do we regard their attendance at school as more important than their attendance at church?
May we remind ourselves and teach our families to walk humbly before our God – and not run proudly towards an oncoming train either.