“Upon his being in great Danger wandring, on
Mendip Hills, among covered Lead Mines
that he knew not of.”
(For your convenience an Audio of this post follows the end. Just hit play)
Boyle’s reflection this time was at coming to a break in his travels. Upon stopping he entered into a conversation with the men where he stopped. Boyle told them where he came from and the path he traveled to get from there to where they were. The men he was talking with turned out to be lead miners. Boyle was more than a little dismayed when the men explained the Mendip Hills he had wandered across to get there were full of old mines. They told him it was some kind of miracle that his horse did not stumble and plunge them both to their deaths in one of them. Boyle realized that if this had happened, not only would he have been killed, but the mine would have collapsed on top of him. He thought about his family and friends who would have never known what happened to him; he would just be gone.
His story provoked in me the image of happily strolling across a field, and, upon reaching the other side, glancing back and noticing a decrepit sign half hidden in the grass. Looking closely, just able to make out the words “Danger” and “Land Mines.” Can you imagine the emotions that would hit you at that moment?
At his revelation, Boyle thought and wrote the following reflection of God’s care:
“Work so totally of God’s
Goodness, that I did not so much as know my
Danger till I was past it, so that it seem’d, sent,
but to give me occasion of rejoycing in my Deliverance.”
This reflection led Boyle to the conclusion that he owed God “a vast Debt of Gratitude.” Not just for protecting him from what he knew, but for protecting him from all he didn’t. He also realized how short of this Debt he fell. This is what he went on to make clear. Every day we go through life and are faced with attacks and adversities that we know. These are not hidden from our view and, on some occasions, we remember to thank God for getting us through them. What we fail to realize, much less appreciate, is that we stroll through life thinking we know the threats we face, all the while just missing the unseen land mines.
As with all lessons in life, we should learn from and change as a result. Boyle’s change was that going forward he would not be so arrogant as to feel completely secure in himself. He would walk knowing that he didn’t know how many mines lay ahead that he would never see. And because he also knew God had delivered him from numerous mines he didn’t even know existed. He learned not to:
“Distrusts of God’s Providence,
since I have found it so watchful to deliver me
from those that I fear’d not.”
I know, at times, this is me. I also know that in hearing it, as I did for a second, you said, “I know that.” OK. Does it show? I took time to really think about this. There have been many times in life where life was so tough that I thought, “what a load, Lord.” Now I look back and think, “if that was the load I could see, what unseen load must He have protected me from!” Remember, this physical world is the mine field and Satan is hard at work planting more. Also remember, we are not looking back at that sign from the other side until we leave this earth and stand with God.
So, I am thankful He guides my every step, and I will strive to make it show every day. I will work to never lose site of that, and become “secure” in my own walk. Finally, I will Trust God’s *Providence, Walk in that Trust, and fear not!
*Providence: “Foresight; timely care; particularly, active foresight, or foresight accompanied with the procurement of what is necessary for future use” Websters 1828
© 2/20/2018 Scott A Caughel