Chuck Swindoll tells the story of Edward Roy and a big problem that he had. “He ran a lowly business- Jiffy Johns of Pompano Beach, Florida. Five hundred portable toilets for rent. Band concerts, construction sites, church picnics, outdoor gatherings of any size could rent his product. But that wasn’t Ed’s problem. As expected, when he started his business in 1982, lots of folks in Florida needed a place to be alone when they were caught out in the open. Rentals were up. That was good and bad” (1993, p. 123). The problem was- what to do with all of that sewage. There are many that would have taken the easiest rout and spent half of the profit to dispose of the sewage, but that was not Ed. He believed that there must be some creative way to handle this problem. He then read about a solar heating process that turned sewage into fertilizer. Ed jumped on the idea and began to operate three $3 million dollar plants to not only treat sewage for a fee, but then he would turn around and sell the fertilizer for a substantial profit.
As gross as this example is, sometimes that is exactly the way our problems seem. We work hard only to have to invest half of our energy, effort, and resources taking care of our “sewage”. It can be so frustrating and worrisome.
The important thing to know is that you are not alone. You are yoked together with Christ (Matthew 11:29). Remember, it was our Savior who initiated this and knew all about you and the problems you would face. The psalmist said, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother“ (Proverbs 18:24, KJV). He is referring to your partner and Lord, Jesus Christ. He promised that if you would bring the decisions of your life to Him, He would give you sound and reliable direction that will lead to success and prosperity (Proverbs 3:5-10).
Psalm 118:5, 9 makes two very powerful statements. “From my place of confinement I called the Lord. The Lord answered me from His place of freedom…It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust men” (An American Translation). The first thing this passage teaches us is that, although we may be bound by our circumstances, situations, and troubles, God is not. He is not a man nor is He encumbered by the frailties of humanity. In other words, He is above that which limits a man. This is the reason why He can walk on water and enabled a man (Peter) to do so as well. This is the reason why he is able to take water (H2O) and turn it into wine. This is the reason why He is able to call to a man that has been dead and laying in a tomb for four days to come forth, and the man came back to life. My friend, although your situation may seem difficult and even hopeless, with man this may be impossible, but with God, all things are possible (Luke 2:37). The second thing this passage teaches us is that God can be trusted. He can be trusted beyond any human relationship you can have or imagine. A refuge is a place of protection or a shelter from danger. God has promised to bring you help. God has promised to bring you relief. God has promised to bring you comfort. The reason I can say this is because that is what the word refuge means.
My point is, when you are facing problems in your life, God is here and ready to help you solve them. The reason? He’s your partner.
Question: Why is God the last one we turn to for help?
Swindoll, C. R. (1993). Growing strong in the seasons of life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing.