Losing Our Bearings by Randy Rowley 1/14/16 ©


In late November, four friends and I went on a blast and cast (duck hunt and bay fishing trip) near Port Aransas.  We hunted in the marsh between Port Aransas and Corpus Christi off of Wilson’s Cut. The water was the highest that we had seen it – there was no dry ground on “our” island, which borders the Cut.

We limited out on redheads on Friday afternoon in short order and Burl Fulenwider also bagged a hen widgeon. We ended up with 11 ducks bagged.

On Saturday morning we decided to go fish in the harbor and bay, because we didn’t want to be on the bay after the projected high winds hit in the early afternoon. Over by the old Fina dock we caught mangrove snapper, perch, a rockfish, and undersized sheepshead. Burl led the way with about six fish caught.

We hunted Saturday evening but the high winds blew all of our decoys to shore. We gave up after the wind blew them to shore a second time. We never fired a shot.

On Sunday morning we decided to walk out to an island on the leeward side of the cut. Unfortunately, we encountered very soft mud and a blue bird day. The ducks that we saw were sky high. We again didn’t get off a shot.

Unfortunately, Mr. Murphy joined us on the trip home. After passing through Kenedy, Burl, who was following me, called me and said, “Pull over now!” I pulled into a construction business’ small parking lot. What Burl and Ken Miller had seen was that my trailer’s right trailer wheel had started to smoke. Ian Daniels pulled the tire off and confirmed what we feared – the wheel bearings had broken.

After trips to O’Reilly’s and Tractor Supply and many trips to AutoZone in Kenedy, we finally bought the right parts and put them on, along with a lot of grease. We finally made it to Austin, about four hours later than we planned.

Numbers Chapters 13 and 14 tell a story of unbelief. The Israelites had arrived on the edge of Canaan – the land that God had promised to them when they were in slavery in Egypt. Now, after leaving Egypt and escaping the Egyptian army that pursued them in order to return them to slavery, the Israelites had finally made it to the Promised Land.

The Lord instructed Moses to choose 12 men – a leader from each tribe to explore the land and come back and report to the people. At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

Numbers 13:27-30 says, “They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan. Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” And Joshua agreed with him.

But the other 10 spies didn’t. They feared the size of the inhabitants of the land, concluding in Numbers 13:33b, “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

That night the people wept and complained about Moses and Aaron, wishing that they had died in Egypt or in the wilderness, instead of certainly dying in Canaan. They talked about choosing a new leader and returning to Egypt.

Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb tried to dissuade them from rebelling and encourage them. Joshua and Caleb said in Numbers 14:7b-9, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

The rest of the story is exceeding sad – the people listened to their fears and sided with the 10 unbelieving spies. The Lord had had his fill of them. He promised in Numbers 14:28-30, “‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.”

Then the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. They lost their bearings and every one of them twenty years old and older died, except for Caleb and Joshua.

A reality of a Christian’s life is we too will lose our bearings from time to time. For some of us, this is a rare occurrence – for others it is far too frequent. We’re cruising along and are right with the Lord when suddenly a trial, temptation, or complacency happens and boom! We’re lost.

In Luke 15:11-32 Jesus told a parable about a lost son. The young man demanded his inheritance from his father, who gave it to him. The son went to a distant country and squandered his wealth on wild living. Then a famine hit. The son had to take a job feeding pigs and started to starve. Then he came to his senses. He realized that his father’s servants were fed far better than he was. So he returned home, hoping that his father would hire him as a servant. But his dad saw him coming from afar. He ran and greeted his son, who confessed his sin to his father. He then commanded his servants to put the best robe and a ring on his son and to kill the fattened calf for a feast. Luke 15:23b-24 says, “‘Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

When we lose our bearings we need to simply follow the example of this son – recognize that we have sinned, repent (turn from our sin), confess and return home to God.

Many Christians associate repentance with salvation. While they do indeed go hand and hand, repentance must also be a routine response to sin by Christians after we have asked Jesus to be our Savior and Lord and belong to him.

Revelations 2:5 says, “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” John 3:3a says, “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent.”

But repentance is not enough. We must also confess our sins. 1 John 1:9 says, “For if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Confession spurs many emotions – sorrow and anger at ourselves and ultimately peace and joy at being forgiven. But to me confession mostly involves humility. By confessing I am acknowledging that without God I am nothing and I cannot keep myself on the straight and narrow road apart from him.

Even for long-time Christians it’s still easy to lose our bearings, but praise God for giving us a way to make it back home with him.

Burl, Randy, Isabelle, Ken, and Earl Prochnick
Categories : Devotionals

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Bible verse of the day

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him — his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/