Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Hopeless Situation (Video)

I've been feeling pretty weighed down for some reason, so instead of talking to people or letting myself get too caught up in my own thoughts, I decided to get on YouTube and distract myself.  I watched these two videos several times before I decided to check out the other videos on the channel.  Little did I know that Jon (the guy in the videos) and his group The Anima Series released a video that was so perfect for this valley I'm in. I've watched it over and over and over.

The words (all credit goes to Jon Jorgenson):

The wall at Jericho was an impenetrable force to any army that was trying to overtake the city. Before even dealing with the wall, the attacking troops would have to navigate their way across a 27 foot wide, 9 foot deep pit that lined the outer edges of the city. Then, there was the wall itself, a 17 foot high, 5 foot thick pure mass of solid stone. If the attacking army managed to get this far without being shot down by archers, all that was left was to defeat the well-trained Canaanite army that was waiting within.

This was the reality for a young leader named Joshua and his ragtag Israelite army. These Israelites who had seen an entire generation live and die while wandering through the desert were tired, hungry, and facing what seemed like an impossible task, a hopeless situation. Now, I haven't lived very long, but I've lived long enough to know this: that running into walls is a part of life, and the bigger the wall, the more hopeless the situation can seem. The large walls of sickness, loss, divorce, addiction, they pop up all around us, and they seem impenetrable. And just like the wall at Jericho, these walls rarely stand alone. The walls of our lives are often accompanied by a deep pit of pain, suffering, and despair, and all the while, an army of hopelessness attacks us on every side. The question is asked all the time, if God loves us so much and is so powerful, then how could he allow these walls to pop up around me? Now, I don't pretend to have the answer to any of those questions, nor do I pretend to understand just how deep or dark your suffering has been.  I simply wanna suggest that maybe God does his best work from seemingly hopeless situations.

When I read the Bible, I read about people and characters, all who faced seemingly hopeless situations. In fact, I cannot find a single person who walked faithfully with God without first facing a hopeless situation. Adam and Eve ruined Paradise by inviting sin and death into a perfect world - a hopeless case. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers for his pride and put in prison - a hopeless case. Moses was cornered on the banks of the Red Sea with the most powerful army in the world breathing down his neck - a hopeless case. Gideon was 300 against 300,000. David stood across the valley from a blood-thirsty giant. Esther was a woman trying to gain a word with a prideful king. Daniel's roommate was a lion. His friends were thrown in an oven. Jonah sucked at his job and got stuck in a whale. Peter was a coward. Paul was imprisoned. The 5,000 had no food. Lazarus was dead. Timothy was too young. Abraham was too old. The youngest son was too stupid. The walls of Jericho were too strong. And Jesus was humiliated, hung on a cross, and buried in a tomb, burying all hopes of the revolution that was hoped for for thousands of years.

Now everybody was ready to close the book on these stories, the end, game over. But if there's one thing we learn from the Scriptures, it's that we can never place a period where God has placed a comma, because when all other options have been worn out, when circumstances couldn't get worse, when everything else has failed, get ready, because THAT is EXACTLY where God shows up. 

 Because Joseph became second in command. The Red Sea parted. Gideon won without lifting a weapon. Goliath's head was on a plate. Esther spoke and the king listened. Daniel tamed the lion. The oven felt like room temperature. Nineveh repented. Peter became the rock. Paul rejoiced. Twelve basket-fulls were left over. Lazarus was just kidding. Timothy built a church. Abraham built a family. The youngest son came home to a party. The walls of Jericho came a-tumblin' down! And Jesus Christ pulled off the resurrection, defeating sin and death and the creation that had been marred so many years ago was now restored for ALL TIME!

With God, what seems like a hopeless situation is not only possible, it's favorable, because only God can turn a mess into a message. Only God can turn a trial into a triumph, a test into a testimony, and a victim into a victory. His power is made perfect in weakness, so let us rejoice in our trials and hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, because He who promised is faithful, was faithful, and will always be faithful, no matter how hopeless the situation. 

I'm so inspired. The message is so perfect for me. Hope it inspires you too.

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