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It Gave Way, and I Fell Off. 501. December 14, 2023

KEY SCRIPTURE: Psalm 31:3 & Psalm 32:8

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.


Henry, my father-in-law of 33 years, was a farmer all his life until he retired. He also drove his truck to market to sell his produce and often carried others' produce to fill a load and maximise his truck. 

On the return trip, he would always try and get a backload to make the trip more profitable to cover fuel expenses and when he is off the farm, less gets done until he returns.  

Henry was picking up a backload at a timber mill after carting bins of oranges to the Melbourne market overnight. To make room on the truck tray, he needed to shuffle the empty orange bins around. As he grabbed the timber rail of one bin with all his weight behind it to drag it across the tray, the nails gave way on one side, and the top board hinged open. This caused Henry to back-peddle off the tray into mid-air, crashing to the ground below. He landed so awkwardly, his ankle shattered.

The ambulance crew did what they could, and then ferried him to Bendigo Hospital, where he spent several months. The ankle required pins, plates and screws, and lots of rehab. That ankle gave him trouble from then on and still does today at 87 years old.

There is an upside to this incident. You see, when the ambulance attendants checked Henry's blood pressure at the site, it was "through the roof!" and at heart attack level. Imagine a truck driver having a heart attack at the wheel while travelling at 100 km/hr on a major highway with a huge load of timber.

That ankle incident saved his life and possibly the lives of others. Besides that, Henry has a wife and five children. Picture the full loss. 

Some people put their eternal lives in things like that board—things that are not secure, that will give way when they least expect it, causing irreparable damage and long-lasting grief. I think many of us have put our trust in stuff that gave way.  

In Henry's case, something bad prevented something worse. But not all of us get that chance. This is why Jesus said, I am the Way, The Truth and The Life, and nobody comes to the Father in Heaven except via me. He is the anchor and guide of life. He never fails. 

In Revelation 3:20, He said, Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Jesus knocks on the doors of our hearts, hoping to enter and clean up our mess. But while many base their life's security in orange-bin solutions, which will eventually let them down, they don't open the door to Jesus, which is not only sad but means they have shut out the world's Saviour. He is the only one who can offer both current peace and joy and true eternal life. 

We have to realise that Jesus must be able to agree with whatever we put our faith in and that our trust is not in the orange-bin ideas and schemes of this world. Fortunately, my father-in-law has been a believer since his youth. The only orange bins he put faith in were the wooden ones. 


Dear Lord, thank you for the life lessons in so many incidents. Thank you that although his shattered ankle incident slowed Henry's farm work down from then on, it's a reminder that his life was saved that day.  

Photo by Riley Crawford



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