Pastor's Corner: Von Anderson
I have been away for awhile and have moved back to the area. Rick was kind enough to allow me to start contributing my weekly devotions and I am greatly appreciative. This weeks is a little different, it is more of a story with hopefully a teaching at the end.
Too often we find ourselves in situations that we require more help than we can do on our own. Our faith teaches us to turn to God, which is right. I Peter 5:7—“Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” But what normally happens we picture in our minds how that help is going to come and what it should look like. When it doesn’t we often wonder where God is and why He isn’t seeming to help or worse why doesn’t He seem to care. Here is a story of a man who found out that more times than not, God is working all around us but we are too focused on our own problems we fail to see the picture all around us.
There was a man who lived in a small town that had a river running along it. At times the river would come out of its banks after heavy rains. The forecast came through that there was a major rain storm coming. Everyone was warned that this was going to cause the river to flood very quickly, and that everyone should make arrangements to move to higher ground. The rains came and as they fell harder and harder the river began to rise. Soon the waters had come out of the banks and was beginning to head toward town. Soon there was a knock at the door. The sheriff had stopped by to let the man know the flood waters were coming and that he was there to give the man a ride out of town.
The man told the sheriff he appreciated the offer but he was ok. He had lived there all of his life and that God had always protected him and provided for him. He was sure that God would do it this time as well. The sheriff politely left, with a warning that the man shouldn’t wait too long. Within a couple of hours the waters had risen far enough to flood the streets and was up to the front door of the man’s house. Someone came by in a small boat and asked the man to get in and he would take him to safety. The man politely said no, that God was going to take care of him and provide for him through this storm. Reluctantly the boat floated off and left the man there in his front door, with water running on his shoes.
A few more hours passed and now the waters were almost up to the second floor of the house. The man had made his way to the roof and was sitting there when a rescue helicopter came by. The man waved them off telling them that he was still trusting that God would be there to protect him through all of this. As the helicopter left the man slipped and fell into the roaring waters and drowned. Now the man stood before God and was upset that God had allowed him to die, when his faith in God had not wavered. He asked God why did he not help him in his distress. God looked at the man with kind, yet firm eyes and asked him what did he really expect. God told him I sent you the sheriff, you refused, I sent you the boat, you refused, I sent you a helicopter, you refused, I am not sure what more you were expecting me to do to help you in your distress.
All of us go through storms in our lives. Some do a little damage some great damage. We pray that God will get us through these storms. When we pray we usually have an idea or concept of what it would take to get us out of these storms. We create a picture in our minds of what it would look like to bring us through to the other side. Then we get so focused on that picture that we convince ourselves that that’s the only way God can help us. So, when we find ourselves in the midst of distress and we have called out to God for help, may we not be so quick to turn away those who offer help, they just may be what God has provided for us.