Yesterday, sitting in my optometrist’s office that plays a continual stream of movies, I was able to catch a glimpse of a most memorable scene from one of my all time favorites, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. Indiana Jones, the main character in search of his missing father, who is an archeologist, finds himself—along the way with WW II Nazis, and others looking for eternal longevity—in pursuit of the chalice Jesus drank from at The Last Supper. In the last scenes of the movie, Indiana is clasping a series of clues woven with Scripture written in his father’s notebook, and he must use them in order to successfully find what he is looking for.
Among those many challenges, there is one that always mesmerizes me. An abyss of such unthinkable proportions, it looks impossible to cross. As Indiana reads from his father’s scribblings, Proverbs 3:6 always pops in my head. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. A pastor once told me that the literal translation of that verse is, when you put your foot out, the path will be there. When Indiana made the choice to step out into what looked a chasm of sickening heights—one in which he would surely die—his foot landed on a granite-like crossway bridging the gap. Hands down, it is the best picture imaginable of what it means to walk in faith. Every time I see that scene, I want to slap my leg in affirmation while jumping up exclaiming a resounding, “Yes!”
Now we may not have an actual physical canyon to cross, but I think we all face our own personal abysses everyday. Some, on the richter scale seem smaller than others. And then there are those that are gargantuan.
~ When you have a child who continually makes bad choices that brings paralyzing fear every time the phone rings.
~ When a financial crisis hits and the possibility of being homeless is right around the corner.
~ And, especially now, for those in the path of the hurricanes that have ravaged and are still bearing down on coastlines, faith is sometimes all that our fingers can barely grasp. And for those of us who watch, clasping our hands in grief, feeling small and helpless even in our best efforts to help, that’s when faith has to count. Courageous faith. The kind that freely admits how deeply afraid we truly are. For when we belong to the Lord and are too weak to have any faith left, He is faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. (See 2 Timothy 2:13.) He is strong when we are at our weakest. (See 2 Corinthians 13:9.)
Sometimes He answers our prayers exactly like we want. Storms turn away. Prodigals come home. And fruitfulness returns. But other times He does not. And it is then that our eyes must turn away from our circumstances and look to Him.
Knowing that in the midst of the swirl and the pain, that good will come.
Good that will far outweigh the disaster. Good that is twenty times, a thousand times better than what we had originally asked for.
Look at Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. (See John 11.) Jesus could have healed Lazarus. He could have saved him from dying. But Jesus chose not to. Instead He waited. Scripture says He did so because He loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. The outcome. He raised Lazarus from the dead. And because of that, the faith of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus was strengthened and many came to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Related: The Loss of a Friend
Happenstance will always be with us. Abysses will remain. But the Lord is faithful. His faith will carry us through.
So many are already giving to hurricane relief, but the need is already growing as Irma makes landfall. Please reach out to the Red Cross or any organization you feel you can trust.