Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sometimes life’s a rodeo: Expect the unexpected

Have you ever felt like you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, about to be pummeled through no fault of your own? Have you ever asked, What did I do to deserve this?

An Old Testament king named Hezekiah looked through his window one day and saw the Assyrian army camped outside. The biblical account says, “After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah” (II Chronicles 32:1 NIV).

Seems unfair, doesn’t it? Hezekiah had been so faithful. How could God let the enemy get so close? What had Hezekiah done wrong, that such a large, seemingly unbeatable force could close in around him?

Hezekiah fell on his face before God and said, “If you don’t save us, it’s all over.”

I’ve seen the same thing at a rodeo.

When my husband was a barrel man, he often went head to head with a big lanky bull called The Grizz. This long-legged monster could step right over Mike’s red and white striped clown barrel and camp on the bullfighter behind it. Or isolate him in the middle of the arena.

One particular day everything stopped, even The Grizz. The bullfighter, down on one knee, looked Grizz in the eye and the crowd knew what to expect.

The big bovine swished his tail to one side, snorted, blinked … and walked off toward the out gate.

The bullfighter leaped to his feet and dashed for the fence, and with one collective breath, the astounded audience cheered.

Maybe ol’ Grizz saw an angel behind the kneeling clown.

That's what happened with Hezekiah: the Lord sent an angel to annihilate the Assyrian soldiers and their king withdrew.

Adverse circumstances can make us doubt that God is paying attention. However, he still intervenes today in the lives of his people - and more important than that is his presence in the lives of his people on an even deeper level than Hezekiah experienced.

The Lord is with us in everything we face and has promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV).

The next time we ask, Where are the blessings and benefits? Where are the good times and abundance? How can God let bad things happen? let’s remember that the Lord himself walks with us.

Even though our challenges may be bigger than we can handle, they are never bigger than our God.

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