Van Yandell

Psalm 34:7-8 “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

It was in the late 1970s. I had an old tractor with an attitude; it only started when it wanted to. One day when it was in a bad mood, I called my dad to help me get it started by pulling it behind his truck.

We started down the road, with the tractor chained to his truck bumper. As we went down the hill, our speed increased at a greater rate than I had in mind. I happened to remember the tractor had no brakes but by then it was too late. The chain came loose and fell off the truck bumper.

Of course, at that particular time, Dad decided to stop. A collision was eminent. I distinctly remember my life passing before my eyes and knowing with great certainty, it would soon be over.

Suddenly, the chain bounced off the road and wrapped itself around the rear right axle of the tractor and jammed against the fender, locking up the wheel. Van and the tractor came to a very sudden stop. Was it Divine intervention?

When in college, I worked at a sand plant. I was working with two others bagging sand. The dryers, blowers and conveyors were running loudly so there was no way any of us could hear anything. Suddenly, I yelled at the others, “Run!” I did not hear anything or see anything; there was a sudden, urgent demand to run.

As soon as we cleared the area, the entire assembly of large sand conveyors and pipes from above us, fell where we had stood only seconds before.

In 2003, a wind storm blew through our neighborhood in Western Kentucky. A ten inch diameter limb about thirty feet long came down in my driveway right in front of the mail box. Being an impatient little boy, I felt the calling of a chain saw and a few minutes later was sawing up the limb.

I was in the middle of a cut, and for no obvious reason, I dropped the saw and ran. As soon as I cleared the spot, a six inch limb slammed into the place where my right leg had stood. I have no doubt it would have taken my leg off completely. The end of the limb was split off and tapered to a sharpened projectile.

Several other times over the years, things have happened to me I cannot explain. Have I been lucky? I think not, once perhaps, but not the numerous times there have been close calls. It is obvious to me God has taken good care of me when I did not deserve it. Why? Why? Why? Thank you, Jesus!

I certainly did not think of accepting Jesus sixty-five years ago as an insurance policy, but it sure seems apparent now, He had a plan. In a sermon recently, I used the twenty-third Psalm as a reference. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

God obviously had a plan for David’s life. God knew David long before he wrote the twenty-third Psalm. David demonstrated the power of the Creator of the universe when he killed the giant Goliath. God made David King of Israel because the people desperately needed a leader, and caused him to father Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived and builder of the Jerusalem Temple.

I have long believed we are created in God’s (spiritual) image (Genesis 1: 27). In such a case, He has a purpose, a reason and a plan for our lives. Jeremiah 29:11“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This is not to imply that nothing bad ever happens to God’s believers. We know for a fact, Judeo-Christians are persecuted and killed every day for being Christ-followers. However, it appears God has a specific purpose for us and for some reason (which I have no answer for or opinion of), He may be guarding us until that specific purpose is accomplished. The above scriptures certainly indicate this.

I know this opens up many questions, opinions and examples. This is a case in which I must say, I have more questions than answers.

Perhaps a reasonable conclusion could be, regardless of age, health and a plethora of other personal conditions, we must continually be alert and aware for those purposes He has for us. I firmly believe it is every Christian’s calling to lead other to Jesus.

I would urge every Christian to ask God right now, “What is your purpose for my life?” I have reached that classification of “elderly” and I believe my purpose is to reach the non-Christians and motivate other Christians to be the witnesses and disciples He wants us to be.

Time is of the essence; this is urgent beyond words. If the world ever needs Jesus, it is now. If we don’t do this, no one will!