February 8th, 2016
Greetings to you, in the precious name of Jesus Christ, who holds us in His unfailing care. I, John, praise His name. Surely, we cannot see much further in the day than the tip of our nose. People awake not knowing what may befall them. My wife and I were driving into town after a blizzard last Wednesday and hit a rough, hardened, rutted, large patch of snow covering the whole road. The tire fell into a contrary rut turning our car into a spin. I turned into the spin with my rear wheel drive car to absolutely no response. No matter what I tried to do, there was nothing I could do to control the car and we ended up in the opposite ditch looking back at the direction we had come.
Thankfully, the snow in the ditch was deep and soft and not obstructed by a telephone pole or boulder. We slid into our white snowy backstop without injury to ourselves or to the car. Two and one half hours later, the tow truck arrived to winch our vehicle out of the deep ditch full of bright white snow and we made it safe and sound. I had roadside assistance so it did not even cost me any extra money for the tow.
But I do not like not being in control! What a helpless feeling to be taken over by the forces of gravity, friction, kinetic energy, and applied physics and to be powerless to overcome them. This was a ride I did not want to go on. The only way I may have been able to prevent this episode is if I had been going a little slower when I hit the snow. But I came upon it just as I was overcoming a hill. I missed the split-second opportunity to change the outcome and was put into a place of overwhelming force and found myself helpless to help myself.
But do I trust that God is in control? Life is full of examples where you and I are powerless against forces and circumstances greater than us. The unfortunate people who were in the high-rise in Taiwan where the 6.5 earthquake struck went for a shaky terrible ride in the collapse of their building. Many died, many were injured, many have still not been found and some are still being pulled alive from the rubble even as I write this. All of them were powerless. None of them would have wished this to happen.
The greatest overwhelming force we all face is the pull of sin. We, of ourselves, have no power over this force which is dragging us on a collision course with hell.
Matthew 13:1-5 1“There were present at that season some that told him (Jesus) of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 13:4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
In the above passage, Jesus is explaining to his listeners there was a greater danger to them than Pilate who killed their fellow countrymen in such a crude and cruel way. Jesus had to correct their thinking. These Jews thought their Galilean brethren must have brought this tragedy upon themselves by committing some great sin. Jesus refers them to a structural failure of a wall killing eighteen souls. Did not a crane just fall on someone in New York just the other day while he was in his car on his way to work? Those eighteen and that New Yorker certainly did not wake up thinking a wall was going to bury them or a 500 foot crane was going to fall on his head. These are not the real dangers we need to worry about. Jesus points out the real danger is sin that is not dealt with. “Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
If you have been saved from yourself and your sin by the grace of God, you are safe in the hands of the Father no matter what unforeseen thing happens in the day. Because we live in a sinful lost dying world, we should be careful to make sure we have a right relationship to God through His Son Jesus Christ. We all face death, most of us at a time unexpected. What if our car rolled over and smashed into a pole or what if another car had been coming towards us and we collided with them. These things are out of our control.
This is why we are told in Proverbs 27:1 “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” and we are also told by Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:2 “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”
Christian no one can touch the hair of our chinny chin chins without the permissive will of God. If God allows us to be touched with some hurtful thing, ultimately it will bring glory to God and in some way bring us into a closer relationship with our Lord. Yes, we may lose control and find ourselves in an unrecoverable spin, but our God is always in control.
May God help all of us to rest in his providential care and sovereign will no matter what comes our way beyond the tip of our noses.
Yours Because of Christ,
Pastor John Schofield
Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”