“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT)
We’ve all been there: The urgent circumstances are completely out of our control. We are definitely “in the frying pan” of life, and there is only one thing we can do: Cry out to God!
I found myself in life’s “frying pan” the other day. I was still 170 km from home. I had been up since 4:30 am and had already driven 1150 km with a 5 hour break in Ottawa, and it was already 10:45 pm. The only upside as I drove through Toronto was that it was too late for much traffic, and the roads were, for once, moving smoothly. The problem was, I couldn’t stay awake. Nothing that I normally do to keep awake while driving was working, and I was definitely NOT alert enough for safe management of my vehicle. I began to cry out to God: “Lord, You know I have to get home, there’s NO place to stop, especially in Toronto during COVID, You will have to be the One to keep me awake!”
How does the expression go? “Out of the frying pan and into the fire”? Yup, it is so often the case that as we cry out to God in the middle of life’s “frying pan”, when our circumstances are so out of our control that there’s nothing we can do… Suddenly things begin to seem… worse!
As I attempted to stay awake on those Toronto highways, which as this point of my trip were 12 lanes wide, the rain began to fall. A light mist at first, just enough to mess with my ability to clearly see the road on that dark night with all the other traffic zipping by me. Then the heavens opened and the water dumped down. There was soon 10 cm or more of water on the road, and it was completely impossible to see the highway lines in the pounding rain. My windshield wipers couldn’t keep up with the water, there was major danger of hydroplaning, and to top it off, no one seemed to be slowing down! I had cried out to God from my “frying pan”, and now it seem that God had just dumped me… Into life’s “fire”!
We have two options in situations like these. The first is to believe that God doesn’t care enough about us and our circumstances to rescue us. This would be the logical way to think as we watch things get worse and worse… Or we could choose to believe that perhaps God, in His wisdom, is going to use the new problems to help with the first ones…
I was tempted to take the first option, but I have experienced God’s love for me so often and so profoundly, that I knew in my heart that He did, indeed, care. I decided to go with the second choice, and as I fought that water and the rest of the traffic, I suddenly realized something vital: I was completely, 100% alert, in the best possible form for driving! God had used the storm to wake me up!
But why would God bring us “out of the frying pan and into the fire”? Why would He add to one problem by bring on other ones?
Though the storm was terrible and the risk of accident was high, I know that in my non-alert status, I was a far greater menace to the road than the storm. As I cried out to God to protect everyone on the road, He showed me ways to drive safely. He showed me the lines to follow. He told me to put on my emergency lights. He gave me vehicles to follow. He made the trucks that whizzed by me stay in their lanes, and when the visibility was too poor for me to see if I was in my lane or not, there were never any cars around me. We emerged from that storm about 30 minutes later completely safe and sound, and the alertness that the storm brought to me lasted another 150 km.
The “fire” God threw me into was my solution to the “frying pan” of fatigue! My new “problem” was actually God’s solution to my old one!
When you feel like you ’ve just been thrown out of life’s “frying pan” and into life’s “fire”, remember the truth of Deuteronomy 31:8: “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (NLT) Let’s choose to believe that God is in control and that His love for you will carry you through. Then, instead of wishing away the new problems, focus on Jesus. Ask Him how He is using the new circumstances to help you through the old ones, and then be prepared to be amazed as He reveals to you the depths of His love!
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two adult boys, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, The Illustrator, a four-times-a-week internet newsletter, and the Sermon Illustrator website, all with Answers2Prayer Ministries.