Caught Between A Rock and A Hard Place

“This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” (Psalm 34:6)

“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.” (John 14:13-14)

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I feel like I’m in a real tight place! (“Caught between a rock and a hard place,” as they say). Like the time I was flying from Los Angelos to Seoul — that’s a long flight (12-15 hours or so)! The plane was so “jam-packed” that there were no more “non-smoking” seats left. “Sorry, sir, you’ll have to sit in the smoking section,” the steward said to me. The only problem was that I am very very sensitive to nicotine — it can make me very sick — even the smell of it embedded in clothes, or furniture … not just the smoke! I complained to the steward and then prayed to God, bowing my head in full view of the airline crew. “Lord, get me out of this!” I appealed inwardly.

Pressures can be tremendous for airline staff under the circumstances (when planes are “jam-packed,” and it’s a trans-oceanic flight) and anxiety and anger displayed by the steward was not hard to spot! Still, I didn’t bow to the pressure — though I felt it — and continued to pray to God. “Lord, please do something! I can’t sit in that seat for 10 or more hours!!!”

The whole plane was stopped because of one passanger who wouldn’t take his seat. Four-hundred and something people, most of whom had been standing in line for more than 2 hours, were all of a sudden going nowhere. Still, I didn’t budge. I knew the plane was being held up. But I also knew that if I sat in that seat (barring a real miracle), that I would be very very sick. More than 10 hours of that? No way! I didn’t want that! Who cared about rejection of man at a time like this? I would fight! … through prayer, that is (and I certainly felt perplexed and pressured myself, that’s for sure!).

Soon, the steward who had been so upset came to me and said, “Sir, someone *just* decided to move from economy to first class. There is one non-smoking seat now available!”

Hey! … Praise the Lord! That’s cool! My Father was listening to me pray that prayer! I knew he was! It … it … really worked! WoW! Another victory! (That, of course, is just one small experience in the whole repetoire of experiences that I have experienced. I am “used” to God coming through for me, which is why I bowed in prayer in the first place, rather than trying to challenge that man to “do something” about my circumstances. He had no power to do anything about it, so I went to the One who did!)

God had come through for me. Thanking God as I went along, I then took my non-smoking seat — one of the best seats on the plane, I must add, just behind the first class section, so there was complete “stretch-out-as-you-please” leg room. Hum… I think I understood it now. God caused the person who had been sitting there previously to be ‘divinely tempted’ to move into first-class, having seen the “Royal Treatment” that they were getting!!! thank-you, Lord! I said inwardly. Nevertheless, I was still feeling a little bit shaken by that man’s anger towards me. But God, you see, was “in” the whole deal.

You know, sometimes life can be like that. A person may be quite angry with us, and this proves to be quite a challenge for us. Does God want us to “bow” to the anger? No! Remain calm, and pray to the Lord, who will deliver you from all of your troubles. I certainly can say … “It worked for me!” And I trust that it will work for you, too. Seek to be obedient to him, and seek to follow him with your whole heart and surely he will not disappoint you!

“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.”

(Psalm 34:1-10)