As a pastor, I often hear people tell me that their problems just keep getting worse with no let up in sight. Someone recently said, “It’s just so hard to keep your head up when life just keeps getting you down!”
We must live by faith when it comes to everything in life: our work worries, our financial woes, our marriages, our health, etc. How do we live by faith in these matters? We commit them all to God in prayer, and then try, as best we can, to let Him handle things. James said, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” (James 4:10).
This reminds me of a story I once heard that illustrates the point of the craziness of life’s circumstances:
A man by the name of George owned an apartment complex and had just completed the exterior brickwork on the 2nd floor. He had some bricks left over and was trying to decide the best way to get the load of bricks back down to the ground level without breaking them.
George noticed a 55-gallon barrel on the ground and thought, “I know what I’ll do. I’ll tie some rope around that barrel, hook a pulley to the 2nd floor eave, and pull the barrel up to the 2nd floor. Then I can load the bricks into the barrel and use the rope to lower it back down to the ground.”
So that’s what he began to do. He tied the rope around the barrel, ran it over the pulley on the 2nd floor, and pulled the barrel up to the 2nd floor. Then he tied the rope to the root of a nearby tree. He went up to the 2nd floor balcony and loaded the bricks into the barrel. Then he went back downstairs, grabbed the rope, and pulled it loose from the tree root.
HOWEVER, GEORGE HADN’T COUNTED ON WHAT HAPPENED NEXT! That 55-gallon barrel full of bricks weighed about four times as much as George! So the barrel shot down like lightning, and George shot up like a rocket! As George shot past the barrel, it hit his shoulder, slammed against his hip and hit his kneecap. The barrel then crashed to the ground, and George’s head smashed into the pulley above, cracking his skull. There he was, dangling by the rope from the 2nd story!
When the barrel hit the ground, the bricks were so heavy that they knocked the bottom out of the barrel. Now George was heavier than the barrel! What a predicament!
Down came George and up came the empty barrel. This time, however, the barrel caught him on the other side. It hit his other knee, scraped his hip, broke his nose and dumped him on top of the pile of bricks.
When he hit the ground, he turned both his ankles and scuffed up both his shins. George let out a yell and let go of the rope. Since the barrel was heavier than the rope, down came the barrel! And you guessed it…it hit George one more time! As George found himself in the hospital bed—bruised, broken, cut, and sprained—he kept saying to himself, “I don’t know whether to file one insurance claim or five!”
George’s story reminds us that we are living in a terribly mixed up world! Our world is forever going up and down. About the time we think we have the bucket filled, the bottom falls out of the bucket and we get cracked in the head. Although we expect life to have a few bumps, we often don’t expect one constant roller-coaster ride full of pain, misery and bruises!
Brethren, we all get “dumped on” in life…rich and poor, saints and sinners, spiritual and non-spiritual alike! The difference is that those who have a relationship with Jesus are equipped to handle life’s cruel scrapes and bruises.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 states, “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” In times of trial, we need to remember our ultimate destiny is to live in peace with Him!
Peter reminds us where we are to place our worries, as he states in 1 Peter 5:6-7, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
Be encouraged in knowing that we are all destined to live through trials while we live on this earth. However, we can experience God’s comfort in the midst of trial, as we rest on the promises of God, both for our present and for our future!
“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth—only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.“ ~C. S. Lewis
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