This past week, I got to explore a place I never desired to ever be…the crawl space of my old house. This little two bedroom place is now a rental house and I have been doing some remodeling in it this past year. There was recently an issue with one of the water lines, and with my father in law in the house above, I went on an exploratory mission, to find the source of the problem. I had a whole new appreciation for the term ‘crawl space’ when I was squirming on my belly through 10-20” areas, having to go over and under duct work and even one spot only 8-9″ under a joist, which I wasn’t sure I would make. Several times the thought of what I would do if I got stuck went through my head, along with what the life of a Vietnam tunnel rat must have been like. I also rationalized that if I did get stuck without anyone above, I had my phone and could call for help, which didn’t give my wife any consolation when I told her the story. When you are stuck, or in a tight spot in life, where do you turn for help?
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
I was visiting with a friend a short while after leaving the crawlspace and told him I felt like I was near the gates of Hell. I had put on long sweats to keep the dust off me, was sweating, and aside from my flashlight, was in total darkness, apart from the rest of the world. Though I was only a few feet away from where I lived for several years, it seemed a very foreign and inhospitable place. While I was fairly close to civilization, there have been other times where I felt far away from other people and even God at times. However, when I am away from other people or my comfort zone, I am usually better able to hear from God. The inverse seems true also, when I am around people all the time, I have more difficulty spending time with and hearing from God. What about you? What times in your life have you felt the furthest from God, and what gave you hope in those times?
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16
So, even though we may be overcome with various challenges and difficulties in life at times, we hold on to a Hope that transcends our circumstances. Whatever we are dealing with, we can always turn to God for guidance and comfort in times of trouble. Even when I was squirming through that crawlspace this past week, I could see a little light from the window I entered and knew there was a way out, even if I got stuck a bit, I knew there was someone willing to help me if needed. When I get burdened with the challenges of life, I can step away and spend time with God at any given moment, because He gave me his Spirit and hope in Christ. We have that hope, regardless of our circumstances and regardless of death. Those tight spots in life help us appreciate this even more.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2
Yours in Christ,