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“A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight.” (Proverbs 11:1)

When 24 Republican congressmen gathered in Alexandria, Virginia around 6:30 a.m. on June 14, 2017 to practice for their annual Congressional Charity Baseball Game, little did they know that their lives were hanging in the balance. The team had been practicing for about a half-hour that day when a man who had posted online about hating conservatives began shooting at his directed targets. The injured included a congressional aide, a lobbyist, a police officer, and Representative Steve Scalise. Several witnesses said their lives were saved by the presence of the Capitol Police, who were there because of Scalise’s position as the House Majority Whip. They were able to immediately engage the shooter, keep him pinned down, and prevent him from continuing to fire on the unarmed baseball players. When the shooting began, Scalise said he simply started to pray. “It was amazing how that removed so much of the anxiety and all of a sudden I was calm, and I knew that God was taking care of me, and boy did he ever.” The attack drew a bipartisan response, and the game was played as scheduled the following day.

The phrase “hanging in the balance” is often used to describe situations where those involved are about to experience an uncertain future. It can be applied to groups of persons who are facing potential life-threatening situations, such as the 33 Chilean men who were trapped underground in a collapsed mine in 2010 before they were rescued 69 days later. Or it can certainly apply to individuals who are about to escape the fate of certain death. On December 18, 1867, 28-year-old John D. Rockefeller, an entrepreneur widely known in Cleveland and the oil refining industry was about to make a quick business trip to New York City to check on his East Coast operations.  He got an unusually delayed start that morning, so he sent his bags ahead of him. Hours later, Rockefeller pulled into Cleveland’s Union Station just a few minutes too late. His bags made the train but he didn’t . . . and it saved his life. By missing the Lake Shore Express that morning, Rockefeller escaped one of the worst railroad accidents in 19th-century America. As a latecomer to the Cleveland station, he would have sat in the end car which jumped the track while crossing over a high railroad bridge in the western New York and fell into an icy gorge below.  Rockefeller came across the scene himself when the later train he had taken was forced to stop because of the wreck. He immediately telegraphed his wife stating, “Thank God I am unharmed; the six forty train I missed had bad accident.” In fact, nearly fifty persons died in the incident that fateful day.

We hear about situations like this all the time. But it never happens to us . . . until it does! So, what do we do then? How are we to face that potentially perilous situation lurking right around the corner? The Christian’s perspective to having a balanced life begins by examining our relationship with God. The closer you walk with God, the more faith you have that He will help you through the toughest times. Moses warned of the curses that would fall upon those who distanced themselves from God’s laws: “Your life will constantly hang in the balance. You will live night and day in fear, unsure if you will survive” (Deuteronomy 28:66).  For those who are making their life journey with Jesus by their side, the answer for balancing life’s uncertainties doesn’t have to be worrisome or overwhelming.   Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Knowing someone is always there and who understands what we are going through is a major component in the process of getting one’s life in balance. As your life becomes more in synch with God, you will realize that even in times of struggle your life will remain in balance when your focus remains on Him. We learn that our first instinct should be to call on God, just as Representative Scalise did when he was shot.  We come to understand that our Lord and Savior has not only promised an abundant life but also an everlasting one. “He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Far too often we allow ourselves to become so distraught that our story becomes like a cliff-hanger in the drama of a season finale. We end up wondering if we will survive to continue playing our role into another season.  If you are right with God, no matter what happens in this lifetime, you can be assured that you will not be written out of the script. You should never have to feel that your life is simply hanging in the balance. That’s security that only He alone can provide.

REFLECTION:  How close are you to God?  Do you seek His wisdom often or are you trying to go through life on your own? What specific steps should you take to know that your life is not hanging in the balance?


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