Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
A young man was learning to be a paratrooper. Before his first jump, he was given these instructions:
- Jump when you are told
- Count to ten and pull the ripcord
- In the unlikely event that your chute doesn’t open pull the emergency ripcord
- When you get down, a truck will be there to take you back to the airfield.
The young soldier memorised these instructions and climbed aboard the plane. The plane climbed to ten thousand feet and the paratroopers began to jump. When the young soldier was told to jump, he jumped. He then counted to ten and pulled the ripcord. Nothing happened. His chute failed to open. So he pulled the emergency ripcord. Still nothing happened. No parachute. “Oh great” he thought, “And I suppose the truck won’t be there when I get down either!”
Have you ever felt like that? Have you experienced failures and disappointments to the point that you just don’t expect anything to go right for you?
Sometimes the whole world seems to be against us.
But then there are some people who seem to just breeze through life. They always land on their feet. And success always seems to come their way – almost to the point of being unfair.
Landing On Your Feet
What does it take to be a person who always lands on their feet? Well unlike the situation of the young soldier in our story there is hope. Even if we’re not sure how to find it. Have you ever felt that you have reached the end of your rope, that nothing is going right, that everything you do fails and you wonder what is going on.
Life is a struggle. No matter how bad the world is or how bad life gets we must remember that God is the one in charge and he still controls. God is not just sitting out there doing nothing He is very much active in the lives of his children and He has a plan that He is carrying out and that plan includes you and me. Each of us has a part to play in God’s overall plan. We don’t have to understand it we just have to trust Him and live our life for Him no matter what type of life that is. We are never to give up even when it seems that what we are doing is not working.
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Because God is God and you’re not, you can be surprised at how He works. And sometimes in the most amazing way.
During World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades. Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves. Although safe for the moment, he realised that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed. As he waited, he prayed, “Lord, if it be your will, please protect me. Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen.”
After praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw close. He thought, “Well, I guess the Lord isn’t going to help me out of this one.” Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of his cave. As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave.
“Hah, he thought. “What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humour.”
As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he got ready to make his last stand. To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on. Suddenly, he realised that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while. “Lord, forgive me,” prayed the young man. “I had forgotten that in you a spider’s web is stronger than a brick wall.”
God Works in Times of Trouble
We all face times of great trouble. When we do, it is so easy to forget the victories that God would work in our lives, sometimes in the most surprising ways.
The important thing to remember is the word PROVIDENCE. God provides for us – He is a providential God. It’s not a word we use every day, but it’s a great word. It lifts you up to someone greater than you.
In English the word “providence” has two parts. It’s pro and video put together, literally meaning “to see before.” Though the word itself is not found in most modern translations of the Bible, the concept is certainly biblical. It refers to “God’s gracious oversight of the universe.” Every one of those words is important. God’s providence is one aspect of his grace. Oversight means that he directs the course of affairs. The word universe tells us that God not only knows the big picture, he also concerns himself with the tiniest details.
It means that God cares about the tiniest details of life. Nothing escapes his notice for he is concerned about the small as well as the big. In fact, with God there is no big or small. He knows when a sparrow falls and he numbers the hairs on your head. He keeps track of the stars in the skies and the rivers that flow to the oceans. He sets the day of your birth, the day of your death, and he ordains everything that comes to pass in between. Second, he uses everything and wastes nothing. There are no accidents with God, only incidents. This includes events that seem to us to be senseless tragedies. I know this is a huge topic, but somehow you can trust God even in the worst of times …