Bobby Leach (1858–1926) was the second person to successfully ride a barrel over Niagara Falls. Annie Taylor had accomplished this feat ten years earlier in 1901.
Mr. Leach survived his trip over the falls, but broke both kneecaps and fractured his jaw. But Bobby Leach was no stranger to danger. For years Bobby had performed stunts as part of P. T. Barnum’s Circus and continued to do the dangerous in the years that followed. But surviving Niagara Falls is no proof of invincibility. For in 1926, Leach died in New Zealand from injuries sustained when he slipped on an orange peel. Bobby Leach had survived the deadly and impossible, only to perish from something seemingly harmless.
In the Bible King David had faced and survived the fury and armies of King Saul, the Philistines, the Moabites, Ammonites, and those of his own rebellious son. If David had ever feared that he’d die all alone on the battlefield, as Saul had died, then God delivered him from what he feared (Ps. 34:4; 2 Sam. 22:1). For David died peacefully in his palace, surrounded by family and friends. But he was nearly destroyed by sexual sin and his own efforts to cover it up. Facing his bloodthirsty enemies did not pose nearly the danger that alienating himself from God did.
Above all things, be on your guard against our greatest danger – allowing sin to separate us from the Lord. “Your sins have separated you from God,” wrote Isaiah (Isa. 59:2). So when we are faced with all of life’s concerns, let’s remember Jesus’ command. Seek first God’s rule in your life and seek to be right with Him. If we do so, He’ll take care of the things we fear (Matt. 6:33).
Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any hurtful way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Amen.