Pastor Anthony L. Scott
There is a general human tendency not to find the deepest experiences of our faith until we have to. Our eyes are more often than not only opened to God when we discover we are hemmed in on every side with no place escape. Still some only search for God when it seems we have lost it all. If you feel like so much is against you in life that you will never be able to make progress there is hope. In the midst of losing it all you will find God. He is the one discovery you can make in the middle of disaster to turn your loss into a profit.
The reality is that what’s going against you is being used by God to work something out for you. That opposition confronting you head on is a tool of God to bring out the best in you. Spiritual valleys are unavoidable and God ordains them as testing grounds for our faith.
There is a story in Numbers chapter twenty-two about a man named Balaam and his talking animal. Balaam according to verse twenty-six found himself in a narrow place in life that had been orchestrated by God. He had nowhere to turn to the right or to the left and in that tight spot the Lord appeared and spoke to him. Many times we find that in similar places God meets us as well.
The fact is we find ourselves in these predicaments for a variety of reasons. First, we try to be self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency in and of itself as a personal goal is something we should all strive for. We want independence and personal security. The challenge comes when we feel we can live and prosper independent of God. Secondly, all of us will sooner or later realize that life is more than we can handle on our own. You and I are sufficient and capable of handling a few of the simple things of life but there will always be those insurmountable mountains that require divine help and placing our trust in the one who is greater than our problem. Thirdly, the Lord often waits for us in those narrow places where we cannot see or find our way through, a hostile environment, individual experiences of failure, depression, or any number of impossible circumstances. Finally, understand that we need not fear these seasons of life. Live confidently in knowing that life never takes us to places where God is not.
We will find ourselves in Balaam’s plight many times but as J. I. Packer points out, “He knows the way He takes” even if for the moment we do not. Or as A. W. Tozer asserts, “To the child of God, there is no such thing as an accident”. We travel an appointed way the mystery is we cannot read the secret script of God’s providence we simply have to place our confidence in Him when narrow places come our way.