Can you run for your life?

This is post is for the person who feels like they’re on a big expedition in life … except you feel as if you’re losing the race.

Calm Before the Attack

I recently found myself reading about John Colter and John Potts. Two men. Two explorers. Who lived in the 1800s. They were mountain men who had been a part of the Lewis & Clark Expeditions. Well, it seems these two men partnered for more exploring and were in a boat on a river in Montana, headed out to check some traps when they were surrounded by hundreds of Indians.

Potts wouldn’t climb from the boat at the request of the Indians, and the arrows that pierced his body took his life. Now, Colter did step from the boat, and the Indians tried to figure out what to do with him. They had his shoes. His clothes. And considered using him for a target.

Instead, they decided to chase him like prey, and let him run naked for his life, barefoot into the woods. They were going to hunt him down. And kill him.

Running Like Prey

Colter found himself running and looking over his shoulder, and a fast-footed Indian with a spear was closing in on him. So, as he approached an open area without trees, Colter turned to face the Indian, tossing his arms out, surrendering.

That’s when the startled Indian lost his footing, and toppled to the ground, his spear snapping in half, lodging into the ground. This gave Colter a chance to grab the spear, killing his attacker.

He then hid in the river, and eventually swam downstream, where he walked for eleven days until he found safety.

This expedition wasn’t the one Colter planned, and our life at times, can unfold with a plan of its own, too. We set out with a ride down the river, when suddenly we’re capsized and running for our life. Or we’re stuck in the boat. And certain death is near. Or so it might seem.

Unplanned Expeditions

Life offers sickness. Cancer invades. Jobs get lost. Families break apart. Sorrow sets in. Worry lingers. Anger rises. Emotions play out. Guilt lands in a heart. Faith gets shaken.

In other words, it feels like Satan is after us with a spear. Like we’re prey for him. And we keep checking over our shoulder to see how close he is to us. Will he kill us? Or pierce us with another arrow of pain?

But take notice that when Colter surrendered, everything changed. His attacker was caught off guard and lost his footing.

Maybe that’s the lesson for me in this story, that surrendering myself to Christ (completely) places me in His care. That to give up my ways by trusting His ways offers me a freedom beyond the spears sailing by my head. That to acknowledge His power, I know He’ll either keep me, save me, or be with me in my suffering. He’ll not forsake me!

Winning with the Lord

In the meantime, I must run my race, stay focused and endure. I pray that I look to the finish line where I’ll see my Savior, where I will worship Him and praise Him. Life with Christ is the best expedition ever, and it’s filled with mercy and grace, beyond measure. And certainly, plenty of running! Or in some cases, a swim down the river might be in order! Or an eleven day hike!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. ~~

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

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