Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Safety in the Trenches

For those of you who do not know, I work for my son, a landscape contractor. Every week, we have safety meetings, for which I am to buy bagels, and provide a sign-in sheet. You know, office/mother duties.

One of the topics that was covered today was trench safety. When you're digging in a trench, the deeper you go, the more likely you are to be in danger of the walls collapsing. If you don't take the proper precautions, required by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), you risk being hurt, trapped or killed.
This is a very unsafe position for this worker.
© Spettacolare | - Photo Credit

I won't bore you with the details of trench safety, as the video was in Spanish, and I didn't understand most of the content, even with the virtual video. (When they got into soil classifications, they lost me).

What did strike me was something my son said. He was explaining that when you are in a trench of more than 5 feet, you must use something called a trench box, which prevents the sides from collapsing, thereby protecting you. 

"If you need to connect a piece of pipe that's outside the box," he said, "you don't step out of the box to connect it. You move the whole box."

Never move out of that box of protection when you're in the trench. You put yourself in great danger. 

So it is in our spiritual life.

God gives us safe boundaries. The more we mature, the more we know exactly when we are stepping just outside of those walls of protection. But sometimes we do it anyway, especially when we're in the dirty trenches of life. "I'm just going to connect this piece of pipe real quick. It's too much trouble to move the whole box. See, I'm only moving my right foot. My left foot and most of my body is still safe within my God Box."

No it's not. One foot out is one foot out. And our head, which houses our brain, our mind, our thoughts...the devil's exposed.

It only takes a second of exposure for an accident to happen. 

Moving outside of the box may be intentional. It may be out of laziness or apathy. Or rushing to get the job done to move on.

Unlike standing on solid ground, when we're in the trench is when we're most vulnerable. When we're in the most danger of getting hurt or trapped. Or, as the devil, would like...killed. Never step out of that box. 

As long as we stay in the confines of God's Trench Box, He will protect us from harm.

© Photographerlondon | - Open Trench\' Sign Photo
But here are some cool things about God's Trench Box...

It's not confining. 

You're probably conjuring up an image of a 2 foot wide trench. But not all trenches are the same size. Yes, some may be 2 feet wide. But some could be 10 feet wide. It all depends on the job. Besides, it's the trench that makes us feel confined, not the box. The box is there to protect us. It's on our side.

He moves it

We don't need to do anything. When we need to move a few feet to "connect that pipe," we don't need to physically move the safe boundaries. Before we even move, we pray. The Holy Spirit will either quicken our spirit not to move, or He will move the boundaries of safety. 

We never want to work in the trenches. It's confining, dirty and unrewarding. But there are times when we must. Just remember that you are never alone in the trenches. God's Trench Box is always there to protect you and keep you from harm.

Blessings in the Trenches,

Song of the Day
It Is Well (Bethel Music with Kristene DiMarco)

Sharing today with Word Filled WednesdaysWholehearted WednesdaysThought-Provoking ThursdayThriving ThursdayFatih Filled FridaysBlessing CountersEssential Fridays


  1. Great analogy! It is sad how we fight against boundaries that are supposed to protect us and I love the idea of praying that God would move the "trench box" for us to as a way of staying in the center of His will. There is no place safer or more true freedom than where He wants us. Thanks for sharing!
    -S.L. Payne,

  2. I step out of His "Trench Box" far too often. Thanks for this meaningful lesson and analogy! It really hit home for me.

  3. I especially love the "cool things" you share: that God's Trench Box isn't confining and that HE moves it; we don't have to.

    My son-in-law is a landscaper too, but I don't know if he's ever done trenches. Now I'm hoping he doesn't have to. ha.

    Your Song of the Day!---we sang that for the first time last night at choir practice and I had it on my list to find the YouTube video. And here it is. Thank you. :)

  4. Have you all gotten my replies? I don't know why they don't looks like I'm uncaring! I'm not, really! I did reply to each comment.

  5. Mary this is great! You're right we don't like to get dirty in the trenches, but that is exactly where we've been called. To share His love and minister to those who find themselves trapped in the trenches without Him. Thanks so much for linking up at Counting My Blessings.

  6. Thanks, Deb! I actually never thought of how when a worker is in the trenches he is doing it *for* someone else; helping a customer. So it is with us, as you say. That's a great insight! And thank you for hosting Counting My Blessings. I loved what you wrote today, especially, "If you want a balanced life, you have to quit people-pleasing." So, so true! I just never had a moment to comment (but here I am commenting on your comment)

  7. Great reminder of God's faithfulness to the trenches and everywhere. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. This really is a great anology - thank you.