Tough Spots

1 Kings 17:5–7

Elijah was in a tough spot. A life-threatening spot. The brook had dried up. Had God forgotten His faithful servant? Has God forgotten you? Has He left you all alone?

The God who gives water can also withhold water. That’s His sovereign right.

Our human feelings tell us that once our faithful heavenly Father gives water, He should never take it away. It just wouldn’t be fair. Once God gives a mate, He should never take a mate. Once God gives a child, He should never take a child. Once He gives a good business, He has no right to take that business. Once He provides a pastor, He must never call him elsewhere. Once He gives us rapid growth and great delight in a ministry, He has no right to step in and say, “Wait a minute. There’s no need to grow larger. Let Me take you deeper instead.” On the contrary, He has every right!

When we hit a tough spot, our tendency is to feel abandoned, to become resentful, to think, How could God forget me? In fact, just the opposite is true. In times of testing, we are more than ever the object of His concern.

But God says, in the midst of your dried-up brook, “You are written on the palms of My hands. You are continually before me.” Then He uses that wonderful image of a young mother with her new baby, and He surprises us with a realistic reminder: “Can a woman forget her nursing child?” You wouldn’t think so, would you? But look at the stories in the news, and you know how many women do exactly that. Babies left in garbage dumpsters. Tiny babies abandoned—sometimes even abused or tortured or murdered. Yes, as unimaginable as it seems, even a mother can forget her nursing child. But here’s the clincher: Not God. Not God! He will never forget us. We are permanently inscribed on the palms of His hands. Pause, and let that sink in.

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. www.harpercollinschristian.com

Posted in Death and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.