Devotion for Thursday, June 18
"Who for my sake risked their necks."
Quite a few years ago I received a phone call from my son that exuded such excitement I couldn't imagine what he had to tell me.
He is the kind of guy who would rather ask for forgiveness than permission and has mastered the art of "timing". So I listened carefully hoping that I could share the enthusiasm I was hearing. He was calling to let me know that he was going to a small airfield in New Jersey for his first skydive and was "so pumped"! Needless to say I wasn't. I could feel this sense of anxiety rising inside of me, and my own fear of heights certainly didn't help me deal with this frightening prospect.   He assured me that it was a tandem jump, there were 2 parachutes, a well-seasoned instructor who would be attached to him and there was no need to worry.
He obviously hadn't heard about the paratrooper instructor who was asked by a student," Sir, what happens if the second chute doesn't open either?" The instructor replied," That, young man, is what we call 'jumping to a conclusion." However, my son said he would be in touch after the jump and all I had to do was WAIT.
Well, the phone call came and he let me know that he was fine. His life had been in the hands of the instructor and the person who packed the parachutes.
I began thinking about parachutes. Who might have packed my parachute? Who might have packed your parachute? Who helped you to get to where you are? Who put their all on the line for you? Paul looks back and recalls people most of us have never heard of - like Andronicus and Junia, "Who for my sake risked their necks" ( Romans 16:4 a). There are no 'self-made' people. The higher you go, the more dependent you become on others.
George Matthew Adams says, "Everyone who has ever done a kind deed or spoken a word of encouragement... has entered into the make-up of our character... our thoughts... our success." So, who packed your parachute? During these times, perhaps we should reflect on those who may have helped to pack our parachute, who may have "risked their necks", whose words of encouragement or whose kindnesses or example became an integral piece of the development of our character. But let us never forget the One who gave His life that ours may be saved, who remains with us every day of our life , whose parachute packing is unmatchable. Praise be to God!
God, we know that You love us. Strengthen that belief. Give us the eyes to see Your deeds of love and those of others who helped to pave our way. Give us the sense to always return to Your open arms knowing full well that Your love is far greater than anything else. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
                                                                             Barbara Schneider

820 Almshouse Road  Ivyland, PA 18974
215 357-6998