Flying into Our Father's Arms
By Jill Briscoe
A train was rattling along the track from one city to another. It carried a full load, and the journey was a long one. In one car the boredom was alleviated slightly by the entertainment afforded the passengers by a small child who flitted from one person to another, smiling and chattering away. She was a personable and sociable little girl, and the passengers began to wonder who her parents were. It was hard to tell, as she gave her attention to each one in turn. The passengers, however, were not left wondering for long. Suddenly the train whistled and entered a long, dark tunnel. The little girl flew across the car, straight into the arms of her father!
When trouble comes, the world needs to see us flying into our Father’s arms. People are desperate for that example. We need to show them there is a place to hide when we suddenly enter the long, dark tunnel, and they need to hear from us that the arms we run to are loving ones. In our refusal to charge God with a spiteful spirit, we publicly profess our belief that God is good.
I have watched in amazement as an expensively dressed businessman, on the way to his state-of-the-art office in downtown Tokyo, placed a bunch of bananas on the branch of a tree outside his high-rise office building. That bunch of bananas was still there at the end of the day. No one touched them because everyone knew that this was someone’s effort to appease the spirits that they believed lived in that particular tree. To believe in gods that wish you harm and that must be appeased by a bunch of bananas seems ludicrous to us, and yet we are in danger of the same attitude ourselves. Even believers—like Job’s wife—can fall into the trap of believing they didn’t give God enough bananas (or money in the church offerings), and that is why trouble came. The God who is revealed in Scripture is not a God who must be pampered and appeased, but rather a God of love and hope who promises to be all that we need Him to be, when we need Him.
Nobody knows what is around the corner of tomorrow. However, one thing we can know: God will be waiting there for us. He is a God of comfort, a God well acquainted with grief and suffering. A God who knows what it is to have the forces of hell do their worst. Because God inhabits our future, He is never surprised by the magnitude of the troubles waiting for us. We may be surprised, but our heavenly Father never is. He who is bigger than any catastrophe is fully capable of looking after His children in the midst of catastrophe. He is so worthy of our trust.