■ By Susan Beckett / Contributed
My newest endeavor with life—are you ready?—having a fight with two of God’s little creatures – squirrels! I have three big Rhode Island red chickens who are happy gals in a large chicken pen. These squirrels appeared and seem determined to break into the chicken pen on a daily basis to eat the chicken food. I am just as determined to keep them out, patching the wire entry openings and filling in their dirt holes.
I recently went to check on my chickens when, once again, I found one of the squirrels inside the pen. The gals were huddled over by their water cooler, not quite sure what to do with their intruder. The squirrel panics when mom shows up and runs to the hole I had plugged from the outside. As he launches himself into the hole, he is immediately pushed back. He recovers quickly and runs through a new hole that goes through to the outside. He had escaped once again.
All these encounters with my new squirrel friends remind me of a fascinating verse in the Bible which has become one of my favorites. It’s I Corinthians 10:13 which tells us: “No temptation (trial) has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted (tried) beyond what you are able, but with the temptation (trial) will also make a way of escape (give us the victory)…” In other words, whatever difficulty you may be facing, God wants to help you find a way to get through it and have victory.
I wonder how often we want the Lord to make an escape route and give us the victory, but we are so set on the answer only coming one way? We may hit a wall like my little squirrel friend and think God doesn’t want us to escape, when he actually just has another way for us to obtain success. We often want God to fix the problem, while we only see one way out. God is really smart, brilliant actually. There must be a million ways for him to fix a problem, but we try to confine him onto our narrow path.
It reminds me of the story about a man from a town where the dam had broken during a rainstorm and homes were being flooded. People were fleeing for their lives. This man prayed and believed God would save him. Pretty soon, as he stood on his front porch with waters rising, an SUV drove up. The driver invites the man to hurry and get in. He declines while waiting for God to save him, so the SUV drives off. Soon, with waters still rising and the man now on the second floor balcony, another man in a rowboat comes by. The rower urges the man to join him in the boat. No, still waiting for God to save him. Finally, he is on his roof and a helicopter flies overhead. A ladder is lowered to him, but he still won’t relent to be saved. Now, standing before God in heaven he asks why he didn’t rescue him. “Are you kidding?” the Lord replies. “First I sent an SUV, then I sent a rowboat, and finally a helicopter. What were you waiting for?”
None of us wants to admit that we’ve been singing that old Frank Sinatra song called I Did It My Way, but it’s human nature. Note that in the middle of the I Corinthians verse it says, “God is faithful.” It’s so important that we don’t leave that verse out of our discussion. Look at what it doesn’t say: jobs are faithful, or friends, money, doctors or even the six o’clock news is faithful. It’s pretty clear that God is the only faithful one.
Exactly two years ago, I was beginning my fight with stage four metastatic bladder cancer. It was considered terminal and I had been given three to six months to live. The doctor told my husband I would be lucky to make it to Christmas. The cancer had taken my kidney plus 19 lymph nodes. Soon it was in my lungs, my liver, and abdomen. I was literally fighting for my life. I spent my entire summer going through harsh chemotherapy treatments with no change in the cancer. The chemo was followed by a clinical trial. That verse from I Corinthians was always front and center of my mind as I fought. I knew God would make a way for me to be healed. The following January, I was declared totally cancer free! Was it just God, the doctors, my diet, or great friends and family? All I know is that God supernaturally intervened and gave me an escape!
A song was written years ago by Don Moen called, “God Will Make a Way.” Trust me, it’s in stark contrast to the lyrics of Sinatra’s song. It seems like the choice is always ours. So what will it be: our way or God’s way? The ball is in your court as they say.
Pastor Bob and Susan Beckett are pastors of The Dwelling Place City Church in Hemet. For more information you can go to: DPCityChurch.com