God is to us a God of deliverances; and to God the Lord belong escapes from death. Psalm 68:20 NASB
I had no idea I would swim with crocodiles that day.
Fresh out of college, I headed to Central America to serve in an international school. On a break, my colleagues and I flew to Tikal—a remote area in northern Guatemala—where we climbed Mayan ruins, took shelter under the trees in a rain forest during a downpour, and spent the better part of a day cruising down a concrete water slide and splashing into the lake below.
Later, while on a boat tour of the lake, we passed a bank where crocodiles were gathered for their daily feeding—not far from where I had been swimming.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Why had no one mentioned there were crocodiles in the lake the waterslide spilled into?
When I asked our tour guide about the danger to tourists, he assured me the beasts were fed there daily so they would not bother tourists. That was the last day I swam in the lake.
Two years prior to my unintentional swim with crocodiles, I had a brush with death in the mountains of Kazakhstan. Hanging by my arms over a deep valley from the frozen bars of an antiquated ski lift—with hail raining down on my bare legs and arms—I kept counting to ten, hoping I could hang on until the earth met my feet again.
These close calls with death left me with a clear sense that I was on this earth for a reason—that it was no accident I had survived.
Escapes from death serve to jolt us, reminding us we have something left to do on earth. They can move us to use our time wisely and to discover and live out our callings.
Whether or not you’ve had a brush with death, you can be sure you’re not still here by accident. God has a purpose for you.
He wants us to count each day as a gift from His hand and to use the balance of our time intentionally: to bring God glory, usher others into His Kingdom, and be transformed into His likeness.
Used by permission Christian Devotions Ministries.