SURROUNDED BY ICEBERGS
by David Sisler
Seeking to improve efficiency at the factory, top executives hired a consultant. The first thing the consultant did was call a meeting of all shop personnel. He began by stressing the importance of following a set plan of engineering procedures. To illustrate his point, he gave this analogy: "You are on the Titanic, and it's sinking. You find yourself in a lifeboat. It's dark and hazy. Which direction would you row?"
There was some discussion, and then a consensus was reached. With no leader, and with no compass, almost any direction could be seen as the right direction.
"Now," the consultant continued, "you're in the same situation, but you have the ship's navigator with you. Which way would you row? You'd row the way the navigator told you to, right?"
There were murmurs of agreement until one man piped up. "Well, I don't know," he said. "He already hit one iceberg!"
Instantly we say, "I understand that. If I have once placed my trust in someone and they let me down, I have a hard time ever trusting that person again. Maybe I'll never trust him again."
Have you ever thought God was wrong? That He let you down? That He steered your ship - your life - directly into an iceberg?
Paul wrote to the Christians living in Rome, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" The answer to that question is obvious. If God is for us, then no one who is against us will ever succeed. But, is God for us? It's a question we ask a lot. Particularly when we seem to be surrounded by icebergs.
Is God for us? Think about Joseph, one of the great characters of the Old Testament. His father, Jacob, made one major mistake in raising Joseph and his eleven brothers - he showed open favoritism to Joseph. Naturally the others resented it, and at their first opportunity, they got even. They first planned to kill Joseph, but settled for selling their brother as a slave.
Now, you must understand, God had revealed to Joseph, through at least two dreams, that Joseph was going to be a ruler. Even his own family would bow down to him. When Joseph's skin first felt the shackles of slavery, did his mind cry out, "God, I trusted you. Where are you now? Are you for me or against me?"
That wasn't the end of it.
When Joseph was resold, he became an overseer in the home of a prominent Egyptian. Then Joseph was accused of rape and thrown into prison. Can you imagine the pain of this second calamity? But years later when, through the intervention of God, he was elevated to the second highest position in Egypt and then reunited with his brothers, he said, "God wasn't wrong. You, my brothers, intended to harm me by your cruelty. And I did suffer, but God meant it for good!"
Is God for us?
Lester Harris was a missionary to Africa. One day his wife, Mary Ann, seven months pregnant, began hemorrhaging. He had no contact with the outside world. He had a jeep, but Mary Ann could not survive a jeep ride. They were 700 miles away from a hospital with no way to contact them.
One of the natives to whom Lester had ministered stood and prayed a simple prayer: "Lord, in days of old you sent angels to deliver your prophets. Send an airplane to deliver Mary Ann."
Within two hours a plane made an emergency, unscheduled landing. The pilot quickly made the necessary repairs. Then he turned the plane around and flew Mary Ann to the hospital where her life was saved.
Is God for us? You bet He is! If He breaks your heart through the death of someone you love, He'll heal your heart. If He lets you fail financially, He'll give you a richness that surpasses all the dollars you lost. If He takes years out of your life, He hasn't cheated you, because He's given you eternal life. Even if God steers you into an iceberg you can still trust Him. He is never wrong. He is still for you. And no one who stands against you will ever succeed.
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Copyright 2001 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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