In the 1930’s an Australian man took stock of his world and foresaw war on the horizon. He believed that Europe would soon be consumed in a great battle with many nations participating. As he studied world events, nation after nation was eliminated as a safe refuge, including Australia.
No place seemed to offer the supplies of water, food, and remoteness needed to be secure in the fast approaching tide of war. Finally, after much research and investigation, the man found an island remote enough to guarantee his safety. In the summer of 1939 he finally moved to the little known island of Guadalcanal.
This is one of the many true stories told in James A. Michener’s book, Rascals in Paradise, of people who sought to escape to an island paradise . I don’t think we’re much different. We want our lives to be safe, secure and without trouble. Yet, sometimes trouble lands on our front door no matter where we live—as the Australian found out during WWII.
I don’t think the issue is how to avoid trouble, but how do we respond when trouble arrives. Nor is the question, Where is God when I’m in trouble? The question is really, What is God like when I’m in trouble? I hope we can say with Paul that God is living full scale in us for all the world to see.
“If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at.
We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives!” (2 Corinthians 4:7-11 The Message Bible).
How do you respond to trouble? How are you learning that God is your safe refuge in the midst of any storm? What does it feel like to have God living in you when your world seems to be falling apart? I’d love to hear your input on some of these questions in the comment section below.
In Him together, Susan Gaddis