|when the bottom falls out by Mike Aldridge
Text: Job 3:1-26
Have you ever had one of those days or experienced a time when it seemed like everything that could go wrong, did? We've all had times in life when it seemed like we've reached the bottom ...and then the bottom fell out!
I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block number 3 of the accident reporting form, I put, "Poor Planning", as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust that the following details will be sufficient:
I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a ten-story building. When I completed my work, I discovered I had about 500 pounds of bricks left over. Rather than carry them down by hand, I decided to lower them to the ground in a barrel by using a pulley which, fortunately, was attached to the side of the building at the tenth floor.
Securing the rope at ground level, I went to the roof, loaded the 500 pounds of bricks, then went back down to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of bricks. (You will note in block 11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh 135 pounds). Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forget to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the fifth floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collarbone. I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley.
Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of my pain. At approximately this same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed approximately 30 pounds.
I refer you again to my weight in block number 11 of the accident reporting form. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the fifth floor, I met that barrel coming up again! This accounts for the two fractured ankles and lacerations of my legs and lower body.
The second encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks, and fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.
I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks -- in pain and unable to stand -- watching the empty barrel ten stories above me -- I again lost my presence of mind -- I LET GO OF THE ROPE.
Why is it that when some people face a serious crisis they have such peace and tranquility, while others tend to fall apart?
There are many factors involved, but I believe there is one common factor that gives people great peace in time of tragedy: An unwavering trust in the absolute sovereignty of God. Believing that God is in control of every situation, not just when things are going as we expect, but when it seems like the bottom is falling out.
Horatio G. Spafford, a successful Chicago lawyer, lost most of his wealth in the financial crisis of 1873. He sent his wife and four daughters on a trip to France, but on their way, their ship was struck by another, and sank. Of 225 passengers, only 87 of them survived.
Mrs. Spafford was among the survivors, but the four daughters perished. As soon as she reached land, she telegraphed to her husband: "Saved alone. Children lost. What shall I do?"
Spafford left for France to join his wife and return her to Chicago. In the depth of this bereavement, he wrote his only hymn: It is Well with My Soul . Perhaps the words of the first stanza will take on new meaning for you, as you ponder them:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrow like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot,
Thou hast taught me to say,
"It is well, it is well with my soul."
Plus Magazine, Vol. 45:6, July/August, 1994, pp. 33-34 .
There are 5 Wonderful Promises given to us which sustain us and give us great peace in times of crisis.
1. Christ's Abiding Presence
I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me.
2. The Father's Absolute Providential Care
All things work together for Good
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
He is the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
3. The Spirit's Abundant Power
You shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
• Power to witness
• Power to overcome temptation
• Power to face any situation or circumstance in life
4. God's Abounding Provision
"My God shall supply your every need."
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
"All these things shall be added"
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
"My grace is sufficient"
2 Cor 12:9-10
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, hat the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
5. The Promise of Answered Prayer
Whatever you ask in my Name I will do it!
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
The Holy Spirit helps with our weaknesses
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
If God sends us on stony paths, he provides strong shoes.
- - Corrie Ten Boom