Lessons from Odd Places: Words that Saved my Life

When I was about ten years old, my older brother and I were riding our bikes on a trail that was the “back way” to a small store in order to avoid the main route that was along a busy highway. One section of the trail was a narrow path that ran along the edge of the bank of a river.

My bike had the old-fashioned saddle bag wire baskets on either side of the back wheel. I had a six pack of pop in one basket that gave me a slight sensation of being off balance. The path that ran so close along the river made me nervous without this added challenge of weighty cargo in my basket.

Well, as you may have guessed, the bike, pop and I ended up sliding off the path and falling over the bank into the river. The drop down to the water was about a meter and a half. My bike got caught on a root so did not get washed away.

I had also landed in the water and was thrashing around  yelling, “Help, I’m drowning!” My brother yelled back at me, “Stand up.”

While I had fallen into deep water that was over my head, through my thrashing I had moved to a place that was not. To this day I wonder if I could have drowned in the shallower water if my brother had not told me to stand up…?

Words are powerful for good or for destruction. Words can bless or wound deeply.

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.”  -Proverbs 25:11-12  (NIV)

There may be someone around you who is thrashing in the currents of life and is in need of some life giving words today, a word of encouragement to help them see how to extricate themselves from an overwhelming situation…? Or, you, yourself may need a life giving word from someone close to you, who see’s a bigger picture than you do.

For all who wrestle with seemingly life threatening challenges, God’s word, the Bible is his love letter to us. Open it often and listen to God’s instructions, drinking deep because it is the source of true and life giving words.

by Mike Woodard

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More Articles by Mike:

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