Focus: Between A Rock and a Hard Place
“Caught between a rock and a hard place” is a saying that goes back centuries. In ancient Greek literature, Odysseus must sail between cliffs where a man eating monster resides and a ship swallowing whirlpool in sea. Either spells doom. Many of us have been in places or positions in life where we must choose between two difficult and undesirable alternatives.
This past weekend Pastor Jason Crabtree spoke on Psalm 136 as he wrapped up our current sermon series,Focus: A Perspective on Thankfulness. He highlighted a twofold quality in this Psalm. Throughout this song the phrase “give thanks” is answered with “his faithful love endures forever.” I wondered how this applies in the “real world.” By real world I am thinking of those dilemmas of life where hardship and devastation are the only things one can see. Perhaps this is what many folks who have suffered total loss in the fires that have burned our state or the parents mourning the death of a child at the hands of a maniacal gunman are experiencing. It may be the heartache and turmoil of a marriage in the throes of dissolution or the fear that comes with a loss of a job and the prospect of not being able to provide for your loved ones. As Christ-followers how can I or even why I should give thanks when all around me it appears His love is absent and the circumstances seemingly point to abandonment? I am caught between the situational painful rock of my reality and the whirlpool of hopelessness that lies just on the other side of me.
As humans, apart from the One True God, we are caught in this dilemma, stuck between a rock and a hard place. As Christ-followers we must shift our focus, as hard as it may be, but shift we must. This series has been all about our perspectives on thankfulness. I read a quote on Thanksgiving Day that sums this up well. Ann Voskamp states: “We give thanks to God not because how we feel, but because of who He is.” Pastor Jason said, “We live in the reality of yesterday and today but God works in the reality of forever.” Living through the challenges of life on this side of heaven requires us to wrap our minds around this profound and foundational truth.
Wrapping our minds around God in this way is not an easy road. It is certainly the “road less traveled.” But as in any journey, it begins one step at a time. We can help you find the first step at GateWay. Furthermore, this is a journey you do not need to make alone. We were created for relationship so go the distance with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reads: Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. In Christ and at GateWay, you are not alone.