By Pastor Anthony L. Scott
Again and again in this life, we find ourselves “up against it”. By that I mean we find ourselves in desperate straits, in situations of hardship where our very existence is in peril. Many times we are “up against it” due to external turbulence while at other times our turmoil is internal. This is simply the way of this human pilgrimage-one demanding challenge after another.
By way of encouragement, I offer an affirmation which really amounts to an incredible promise. No situation in which we find ourselves is totally beyond us. God can be counted on for two things. First, He will not put more on a person than he can stand. That means that our Maker, the One who knows our structure best, will not overload our systems. The second promise; namely, in every situation there will always be a way out, what William McElvaney calls “a saving possibility”. This in no way suggests that we will not get crowded or hemmed in sometimes by life, but no experience in life is ever hopeless. In fact, life can never put you where God cannot find or reach you.
Is there always a saving possibility in every problem situation? I am a positive believer in the promise. I have found it to be true in the crucible of my own experience. However, let me amplify more explicitly how this promise works itself out in the actualities of life. This saving possibility can assume one of three different forms.
Sometimes we must put forth effort and help change the circumstance ourselves. This is a form of saving possibility that must not be overlooked. We often assume a victim position and decide there is absolutely nothing we can do to change a situation. On other occasions we find ourselves “up against” situations that cannot be changed. Our own ingenuity cannot alter these events. What then? Sometimes we have to accept situations we do not like and let them change us since we cannot change them. Finally, when one finds themselves “up against it,” the saving possibility comes in the form of a rescue. Powers from outside come in and deliver us.
I heard once of a diesel that exceeded the height limit on the highway it was traveling and got stuck trying to go under a bridge. Traffic began to back up, horns started to blow, and tempers began to flare. Representatives of the trucking company arrived to try and dislodge the truck from the bridge. Extensive damage had already been done to the top of the truck and they could not afford to do more. Engineers from the local highway and bridge department said it would be impossible to dismantle the bridge. The situation seemed to be at a total impasse, when a ten-year old boy surveyed the situation and said calmly: “If I were the truck driver, I’d let the air out of the tires.”
We may never have a complete explanation for why we sometimes find ourselves “up against it,” but this does confirm the promise that in every circumstance there is a saving possibility.