By Chris WittsWednesday 20 Apr 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 1 minute
A young man was learning to be a paratrooper. And before his first jump, he was told four things.
1. Jump when you were told to.
2. Count to 10.
3. Pull the ripcord. In the unlikely event that your chute doesn’t open, pull the emergency ripcord.
4. And when you get down, a truck will be there to take you back to the airfield.
So the young soldier memorised those instructions. He got on the plane. The plane climbed at 10,000 ft. The paratroopers began to jump, and when the young soldier was told to jump, he jumped. He counted to 10. Pulled the ripcord. Nothing happened. His chute failed to open, so he pulled the emergency ripcord. Nothing happened. No parachute. “Great!”, he thought. “And I suppose the truck won’t be there when I get down there, 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 today? Sometimes the whole world seems to be against you. And then there are other people just seem to breeze through life. They always land on their feet and success comes their way. So what does it take to be a person who always lands on their feet? Well, not like the young soldier in our story, even if we’re not sure how to find it. Have you ever felt you’ve reached the end of your rope? No matter how bad our world is, there’s one thing we should remember and that God is the one who is in charge. God controls your life, even if you don’t feel it. God is not just sitting out there doing nothing. He’s very active in the lives of his Children, and you’re one of his Children. He’s got a plan that he’s carrying out, and each of us has a part to play in the overall plan of God. And I think we don’t have to understand that so much as trust him to live our life and just hang on to him because God is God and you’re not. And you can be surprised at how he works. And sometimes in the most amazing way.
During World War two, a U.S. Marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific Island and the fighting had become intense and in the smoke and the cross for he had lost touch with his comrade. So here he was in the jungle, he could hear the enemy soldiers coming. So he scrambled for cover and found his way to a couple of small caves in a rock. And he crawled inside one of these caves. He thought, well, this is good, at least I’m safe. Then he could hear the enemy soldiers coming
down the ridge looking for him. And he knew that they would probably search these caves and that would be the end. He’d be killed. So he prayed.
“Dear Lord, if it is your will, please protect me.
Whatever your will. Lord, I love you and I trust you.”
So he prayed this prayer. He lay quietly listening to the enemy. Well, he said, I guess the Lord is not going to help me out of this one.
And then a very strange thing happened. He saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of his cave, and as he watched and heard the voices of the soldiers getting closer, this spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave, and he thought, “what I need is a brick wall. I don’t need a spider’s web, and here the Lord has sent me a spiderweb.” God has a sense of humour. And as the enemy drew closer, he watched from the darkness of his cave, and he could see them searching one
cave after another and they finally came to his cave. And to his amazement, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on.
Why was that? Suddenly he realised that with the spider web over the entrance of his cave, the cave looked as if it had had no one in it. For quite a while, he was relieved and he prayed. “Lord, please forgive me. I’d forgotten that in you, a spider’s web is stronger than a brick wall.”
Now I think that’s a lovely story, a remarkable, true story. We all face times of trouble, and when we do, it’s easy to forget that God has a victory, that God has something planned for us, even in the most surprising ways. The word we should remember is ‘providence’. God provides for us. In English the word ‘providence’ means ‘pro-video’. Put the two words together, ‘pro-video’ means to see before and the Bible talks about this, that God has this gracious love and care. God sees not only the big picture, but he also cares and sees the small details of life.
Dear God, I realise that some of my friends are facing difficult decisions today. Life is not always smooth and sweet, but may your strengthening arm be around them as they grapple today with big issues. And I ask, in the name of Jesus. Amen.