On the bus; off the bus

“On the bus; off the bus,” is a common saying in the British army. It means we never know what’s going to happen next—even when we’re given orders. One minute we can be heading off to a warzone, and the next, we’re suddenly on hold, waiting for a call.

I remember one time when I was on leave. I was relaxing at home when I got a phone call telling me I was being sent to Bosnia. I grabbed my kit, said goodbye to my wife and daughter and quickly drove to the barracks for the necessary briefings, etc.

Just minutes before it was time to go, my sergeant called me: “Stand down. You’re not going today.” I was put on a week’s standby—but it wasn’t until 6 months later that I actually got deployed to Bosnia! On the bus; off the bus—it’s daily life in the armed forces.

We can go through this kind of uncertainty in all areas of our lives. We don’t know what this year is going to bring, what decisions we’ll have to make tomorrow or even what the rest of today will throw at us. Not knowing what’s coming can be very stressful!

In the midst of this insecurity, we need to think about a God that the Bible says is faithful and unchangeable, meaning He is always the same; Someone we can truly rely on.

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not [sleep]. —Psalm 121:2-3

Get hold of a Bible and read through Psalm 121 (one of the songs in God’s Word) to see what it tells us about God:

  1. As the world’s Creator, He is our true help (vv.1-2).
  2. He will keep us from stumbling and giving up during difficult times (v.3).
  3. He never sleeps or rests from looking after us (vv.4-5).
  4. He is our protector from the dangers of this world (vv.6-7).
  5. Wherever we go, He is there with us. He will look after us forever (v. 8).

Psalm 121 doesn’t promise that we’ll never be sent to a dangerous battlefield or suffer physical harm. These words are a promise of God’s constant faithfulness to us in a changing and uncertain world. His protection means that even though we might get hurt in this world, we will never be beaten by it. No matter what we might face, where we might go, what we might lose or what we might be asked to do, God remains the same. He is a fortress of safety; the One we can always talk to.

For [God] Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” —Hebrews 13:5b-6

The best security we have is that He “shall [look after us] . . . forevermore” (Ps. 121:8). When we trust Jesus, we are promised a future in heaven (check out John 14:1-6). There is no ‘on the bus; off the bus’ with God. He remains faithful to keep His promises.

I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor [authorities] nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:38-39

What do you think? Is God worth looking into? In the middle of our ‘on the bus; off the bus’ world, Jesus Christ is the certainty we need. —Lee, SASRA Scripture Reader