In 2008 it rained for days and days in northern England.
A family in Chester-le-Street went out for a walk. The 3-year-old daughter, Laura, wanted to jump in the puddles.
So that’s just what she did. She ran toward a puddle at the side of the street and jumped!
Then she disappeared.
Laura’s parents ran over and quickly realized what had happened. There had been so much rain that the gutters were full and had popped off the grate cover. When Laura had jumped, she went right down the hole.
Thinking quickly, the father, Mark Baxter, figured that the gutter emptied into the river 100 yards away. He ran as fast as he could, jumped into the river, and pulled out his little girl before it was too late.
In an interview afterward, Mark said that worst-case-scenarios had come into his head. But he refused to think the worst.
For her part, 3-year-old Laura said that when she found herself in the rushing water, she immediately did the “star float.” She had been taking swimming lessons and was taught to do that if she ever experienced unexpected danger.
Here’s why I say all this.
Life is full of trauma and danger. And at some point, all of us will have to deal with our fair share. What I love about the Baxter’s story is that in a crisis they were able to be at their best. They didn’t let worst-case-scenarios or panic determine their actions. They rose to the occasion.
In Romans 15:13, Paul says this: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
People who “abound in hope” are those who have been so filled up by God, that in the midst of trauma and danger, they summon the hopeful best within themselves—not the despairing worst.
If you need motivation to keep growing in your journey with Jesus, this is it. Trauma and danger come. And when it does, you want the best to come out of you, not the worst.
Not only for yourself, but for the people around you.
By Matthew Ruttan