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February 1, 2015

There’s a story about a man driving a U-Haul truck down the road.  Every time he came to a stop he would get out, run around the truck pounding on it’s side, jump back into the truck and drive to the next stop.  Where, he’d get out and do the same thing all over again.

A patrol officer was following this man and watching this go on for several stop lights.  Finally, when he couldn’t stand the curiosity anymore he pulled the driver over and asked what he was doing.

“Well,” said the truck driver.  “You see I’m carrying 2 tons of canaries in a 1 ton truck.  So I have to keep at least half of the canaries flying or the truck will break.”

Life is like that sometimes.  Isn’t it?  We’re trying to keep all the canaries flying.  With disaster pressing down on us we’re trying to keep it all together and somehow keep moving forward.

More often than not we come up against what are seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  Physically, mentally, in our marriages and families and where we work (or not having work) or where we go to school we continually come up against situations and people that knock us off our feet.  Circumstances that are unexpected, unreasonable, and foreboding disaster.

In Luke 21, in the days before Jesus was crucified Jesus was teaching His disciples about the end times:  kingdom rising up against kingdom, great earthquakes, plagues, famines, and all kinds of terror inducing things going on in space.  Jerusalem will be sacked again.  God’s people will be carried off into exile again.  Christians will be betrayed even by their own family members.  Christians will be persecuted and martyred.  People are going to be living in terror.  They’re going pass out in fear.  Overwhelming tribulation.  Horrific events.

Jesus tells His disciples, “When these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.  You’re going to see the Son of Man [Jesus] coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”  (Luke 21:27,28).

It is a truth repeated over and over in Scripture.  “Lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near.”  When things look to us to be lost and hopeless God is about to do something spectacular  even miraculous.  Look up!  Look for the miracle!  Live expecting God to work!   

In the midst of what are to us dark and foreboding paths leading to destruction God is preparing for us great opportunities for blessing and service.

Consider these promises of God (a small fraction of God’s promises to His people):

“Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)

“Seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things - everything we need for life - now and forever - all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Jesus said, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20)

God doesn’t flippantly hand our promises.  God makes promises to us purposefully to meet every situation and need that we have in life.  To meet those needs according to His plan for our life.  When we begin to hang onto the promises of God, turning to Him in faith, we begin to understand that every hardship, every struggle, every obstacle is an opportunity.  Even in the worst of life we begin to lift our heads and to look with expectation towards what God will do. 

Admittedly that’s easier to say than to do.  But, from personal experience I can tell you that God’s promises are true and that He will never let you down.  Whatever you’re up against talk with God about it.  Tell Him how you feel (be honest even if that means you’re struggling to trust Him).  Tell Him that you are choosing to trust Him with what’s going on and ask God for the strength to trust Him and to lead you through the problem.  Then, look up!