I was attending a conference in Calgary, Alberta in the summer of 1982. Myself and another conference attendee had been billeted out at a home for the duration of the event. On the first free evening we decided to take in a movie, a double header in fact as our billets would be out late that evening and we needed to occupy ourselves until they returned.
Little did we realize then the blockbuster status the two movies we were about to see would soon earn. First up, Raiders of the Lost Ark, followed by E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Soon, everyone was quoting classic lines from the films, “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” and “E.T. phone home.” It was a great evening and the time passed quickly.
Adventure is good entertainment when you’re sitting comfy in a movie theatre and strongly suspect all will work out well by the end. But adventure can be something quite different when it is played out in your own life!
“Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”—of all the possible things that might have gone wrong next, Why, Lord, did it have to be THAT thing?
“E.T. phone home.” – God… take me away from this place. It doesn’t feel right. Why am I here? Did you forget me? Even your calling out to Him doesn’t seem to launch past the ‘gravity’ of this situation.
In experiences such as these we must remember the lesson: “God appoints hardship so that He can redeem it for His glory.”
And we are being watched…
Angels are watching this drama of human free will and faith: “Even angels long to look into these things,” writes Peter (1 Peter 1:12). Paul adds, “…through the church” (that’s us, if we have placed our hope in Christ), “the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 3:10)
The devil knows how this adventure all turns out, and scripture informs us “he knows that his time is short.” (Rev.12:12) The hardships we experience truly do result in victories through Christ, and bring glory to God. Just think, what a privilege it is to participate in these hardships!
While the fruit of these hardships may not be fully known until we reach eternity, some “first-fruits” of them do appear here.
I mentioned in Monday’s “Pressing on..,” how Don and his young family were saddened to leave Africa after having “sown in tears.” They had planted the gospel at the cost of a son. Where was the benefit?
Well, as a post-script to this I have not yet shared that this trip did bear first-fruits: 24 young children (23 of whom were HIV positive) trusted Christ for their salvation!
Whatever your trial, the Lord still reigns. Try to trust, and enjoy the adventure!