In the Day of Trouble

Once upon a time there was a ginormous pig who escaped her yard and went on an escapade all over Kitty Hawk Village. Over the hills, through the woods, and onto the very curvy road she went. She startled me as I came around a bend on my way to my office, and I saw a pickup truck going too fast that almost hit her. In his defense, nobody would have expected a 300+ pound pig to be smack in the middle of the road. I quickly parked at the police station and jumped out of my van. From there I proceeded on foot in what we cops call “hot pursuit.” She seemed intrigued by my efforts and slowed down as I followed her in and out of people’s yards,. To be honest, she wasn’t moving very fast. So, I started to call, “Suuuu-EEE! Suuuu-EEE.” I don’t even know what that means. I might have thrown a little “here Piggy, Piggy” in for good measure.

Surprisingly, this lovely gentle giant turned and sauntered over to me, so I walked her back to the police station, stopping traffic on the busy road as we crossed it. What else was I going to do with a lost pig?

I opened the door and called into the receptionist that I was here to report a rogue pig. She probably thought I had just come from the Black Pelican bar and had been over-served. But when the pig snorted loudly behind me, she came out for a look. This pig was obviously well loved at home because she nuzzled us like a dog and enjoyed a good ear rub. As you can see, she even posed for pictures. What a ham!

An officer came out and said, “Caroline, what are you doing here? Did you take yourself for a walk again?” It turns out that Caroline lives in the big yard behind the police station and he was able to walk her home.

Not to sound like a hero or anything, but I did save her bacon that day.

Do you know that God wants to save you, too? In the day of trouble, God will pursue you as you are wandering away from him. He won’t let you out of his sight until you come home safely into the house of the Lord:

Psalm 27 (New International Version)

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple

For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Are you running away? Are you feeling unsafe and untethered? No matter what the reason is, whether the situation you are facing is a result of your bad choices or your enemies pursuing you, God offers the safety of his tent:

Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Caroline was wise enough to come when she heard the voice of her rescuer. I pray that in your day of trouble, you will seek God’s face and listen to his voice. He will come, and he will be merciful.

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
    do not turn your servant away in anger;
    you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
    God my Savior.

God is your Savior, and you will be saved. Thanks be to God!

I told you she was big!

A Pig’s Tale

A pastor’s job is never done. All day long we are about our Father’s work, laboring with him to save souls. Then we get in our cars to take our weary bodies home, still thinking about saving souls.

Then there was that one day when I got in my car and had the chance to save something else. A 300-pound pig.

I was driving home from my office on Kitty Hawk Road when the little lass in the picture darted across somebody’s front lawn and ran in the road directly in front of me. I made a U-turn, parked in someone’s driveway, and set about chasing her. She had a good head start, but I am a less-than-300-pound runner, so I caught up. She turned to look at me as though to assess what kind of game we were playing, and suddenly I realized that I had absolutely no idea what I would do if I actually caught her. All I wanted was to keep her from getting hit on our busy road.

At that point I was only a block away from the Kitty Hawk Police Department. Having been raised to trust and respect the men and women in blue, I immediately set out to get my new friend over to the police station. Listen, it was a good plan…even their cars say they “protect and serve.” I was sure that in Kitty Hawk, that is not limited to people.

So I began to walk toward the station, calling, “Here, Piggy Piggy!” For those of you laughing, what exactly would YOU have said?? After all, Piggy and I had not been formally introduced.

At first she just stared at me. I think she liked the chase better. But after rooting around a little more in somebody’s yard, she began walking my way. (Do you think she maybe recognized the call of a savior?) I had to stop traffic when I needed to get her to cross the road (next morning‘s Sentinel headline: Why Did Piggy Cross the Road? To Get to the Police Station) and she trotted right over to my side.

I piggy-piggied her right up to the front door of the station, and walked in the front lobby and told the very startled receptionist, “I’m here to report a rogue pig.”

“Excuse me, M’am, a rogue WHAT? Oh….well, that’s just Caroline. She gets out all the time.”

She called an officer up from the back and he took one look at the pig and said, “Caroline, did you take yourself out for a walk again? Come on, let’s get you home.” And the Caroline and the officer trotted off to a property behind the police station where Caroline was safely delivered back home. Thus ends my pig tale.

Caroline is apparently a notorious Kitty Hawk wanderer, and I was not the first to save her. In fact, it was obvious to me that Caroline wanted to be saved.

How about you?

2 Peter 2 (The Message)

21-25 This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.

He never did one thing wrong,
Not once said anything amiss.

They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right.

He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.

Jesus used his servant body to carry our sins to the cross so that we might be saved. His actions enabled us to be free to live the right way. By his wounds we are healed! No longer lost sheep, (or pigs) we know the way home. Jesus did that for you.

Are you longing to be saved? Today is the day. Kneel down and confess your sins. Ask Jesus to cleanse you and make you whole. Ask him to live in you from now until he calls you home. Dedicate yourself to a life of following him, serving him, learning about him, and never straying from his path again.

Jesus saves. Is he calling you? Get yourself home.

They call me the Wanderer.