There’s an old joke:
A great flood strikes a small town and the water inundates all the houses. The people retreat to the rooftops to escape the waters that continue to rise.
A man stands on his roof, and a boat passes his way. “Get in,” they yell from boat.
The man, clutching his Bible firmly in his hands, responds, “I know the Lord will save me!”
About an hour later, the man is still on his roof and the water is now up to his knees. The contents of his house are completely under water. A second boat passes by. “Get in,” they yell.
The man remains steadfast in his faith. “I know the Lord will save me!”
About an hour later, the water has risen yet again. The man is on his toes and struggling to remain upright. The water level is now up to his neck. A helicopter looking for victims hovers over him. A rope ladder is dropped and a rescue worker shouts, “Grab the ladder!”
With all the resolve he has left, the man yells back, “My Lord will save me!”
Minutes later, the man is gone, succumbing to the rising flood. He finds himself in Heaven, in dismay and disbelief that he drowned, and face to face with God.
“My God. I worshipped you every Sunday, I tithed a generous amount every week, I read Your word in the good book every day, and in my moment of need you abandoned me. Why?”
The Lord looked upon him and said …….. “What are you talking about? I sent you two boats and a helicopter!”
The moral of the story is God is constantly reaching out to us. He wants us to succeed, and He wants to help direct us in the right way. We, however, need to be willing to listen. Faith in God means having a relationship with God, and as with all other relationships, it’s a two-way street.
About two years ago, I got an idea for a book. The subject of the book is sensitive and painful, but I believe if done correctly, it can go on to help others who may have suffered the same pains in their lives. Last November, I took the first step in making the book a reality. I sat across from a woman and had her tell me her story. It was difficult, uncomfortable, and the tears were plentiful, but we both managed to get through it.
Then the scope of the project set in. In order for this book to be meaningful, I would need to have at least nine or ten more of those types of interviews. I would have to have that same difficult and uncomfortable experience over and over again just to get the source material needed for the book. Then I would have to compile it, organize it, and write it, each keystroke making me relive the pain and suffering of everyone I would have interviewed for the effort.
The phrase, “Um ….. no thank you!” blared in my head. That is, until this past week.
In the last month, I’ve experienced baptism as an adult and have taken part in a Christian mens retreat (see my posts with W@HBC in the title). What I’ve come to realize following those experiences is that I’ve been standing on my roof, ignoring the boats and the helicopters and the hover-crafts and all the other vehicles God has been sending my way. In the last two months, I’ve had the woman whom I initially interviewed inquire about the progress of the book. I’ve had another person, a person with whom I’ve discussed the effort and asked if she’d be willing to share her story, ask me when we were going to get together for the project. I’ve had sermons from both my own Pastor, Paul Wirth, as well as Pastor Steven Furtick, to whom I listen via podcast, speak directly to me about this topic.
God has been throwing life preservers and flotation devices at me for a long time now. He’s been bombarding me with ways to save myself from drowning in a sea of fear, self-doubt, and complacency. He’s been telling me all along that I am capable of overcoming the challenges that are mostly in my head. But I have to do my part. I have to take action. I have to get in that boat. I have to grab onto that rope ladder. I have to pick up the phone and make those difficult calls and ask those awkward questions. I need to write this book because I believe it can positively affect the lives of others. I have to write this book because I know this is what God is calling me to do at this moment in my life.
The process will be hard, and I am sure to get discouraged along the way, but there is no doubt in my mind that regardless of the outcome of the project, my Father in Heaven won’t let me drown.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” -Romans 12:2