SCRIPTURE: 1 Peter 4:12 (TM) – larger reading 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job.
Elmer Bendiner's describes a bombing run over the German city of Kassel: Our B-17 (THE TONDELAYO) was barraged by flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. That was not unusual, but on this particular occasion our gas tanks were hit. Later, as I reflected on the miracle of a twenty-millimeter shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an explosion, our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told me it was not quite that simple. On the morning following the raid, Bohn had gone down to ask our crew chief for that shell as a souvenir of unbelievable luck. The crew chief told Bohn that not just one shell but eleven had been found in the gas tanks--eleven unexploded shells where only one was sufficient to blast us out of the sky. It was as if the sea had been parted for us. Even after thirty-five years, so awesome an event leaves me shaken, especially after I heard the rest of the story from Bohn.
He was told that the shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused. The armorers told him that Intelligence had picked them up. They could not say why at the time, but Bohn eventually sought out the answer. Apparently when the armorers opened each of those shells, they found no explosive charge. They were clean as a whistle and just as harmless. Empty? Not all of them. One contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it was a scrawl in Czech. The Intelligence people scoured our base for a man who could read Czech. Eventually, they found one to decipher the note. It set us marveling. Translated, the note read: "This is all we can do for you now."
How often do we question God’s involvement in our life? Too often is my guess. The answers when they come are not to our liking so our conclusion: God doesn’t care. The predicaments that cause us to have our backs up against the wall are too often seen as some sort of punishment from the Almighty God. Where is God in all this mess we call life? Why has he abandoned us? Why is there a “no” at the end of every situation?
The providence of God can be found in the little things – like bombs with no explosives, strength to get through another day, a kindly teacher who is willing to give a failing student another chance, peace in the midst of pain – “just” the providence of God. But they are might deeds that come to us at the point of our greatest need. Too often we fail to see or recognize it as such, but the providence of God nevertheless it is. We give thanks… or at least it is hoped that we do.
And so, when things just happen and solutions are found in an unlikely manner please don’t take them for granted. Rather give thanks to a God who cares, for a God who looks after his children. God is still on the job!
Thank you for being on the job, God – thank you for providing an answer when everything else seems to fail.