Have you ever felt like you couldn't go one more day or do one more thing in your day-to-day life or circumstances? That you are alone? In Genesis 2:18, the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone..." Adam's single state was the only thing God created that He declared not good. Yet our society and sometimes our mindset is that we can get by on our own. You know what I'm talking about… 'I don't need anybody; I can do it by myself.' We start approaching life as though we are an island. Simon & Garfunkel sang "I am a rock, I am an island"…and we bought it. I bought it. We act as though one of the Proverbs is "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and try harder." (It is not a Proverb, by the way.) Or if we run on the treadmill of "Try A Little Harder," all will be well. What if Jesus really meant what He said in John 15:5 – "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."
Have you ever watched the show "Alone" on the History Channel? The premise is that 10-12 "Survival Experts" go into the remote & harsh environments with very few tools and try to win the prize money by staying and surviving the longest. They battle the elements, wildlife, lions & tigers & bears (okay, maybe just the bears). They face their biggest fears and try to survive on their own. They all begin to starve, break down emotionally, and try to prove that they are the exception to the rule. They are all humbled by their own inability, vulnerability & outright failure. One may last a few days longer, but in the end, they all admit they need help. They dial 911 on their sat phone and wait for rescue. I often wonder why one of them doesn't take a Bible as one of their essential items. So far (6 seasons in), no one has.
Don't we do the same thing, though? We come into the world helpless, and then as we grow and learn, we think we can make it on our own. As life happens and the lions, tigers, and bears of finances, health, and circumstances break down the walls of our "self-sufficiency." We try harder. We pretend we are the exception. We dig in and fight to make it. I did that for about 45 years. In fact, I fought to prove I was doing it "For God" – while keeping Him at arm's length. Hear me says this: You can't do it alone, and you aren't supposed to. We need a Savior. We can try hard & pretend, but we are only fooling ourselves.
I want to share a story from a recent sermon. I hope it makes you smile & realize that when we try to make sense of life apart from the Creator of life, we are destined to fail.
An atheist was walking through the woods. "What majestic trees, what powerful rivers, what beautiful animals," he said to himself.
As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look and saw a seven-foot Grizzly bear charge toward him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. He tripped & fell to the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but realized the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him.
In that instant, the atheist cried out, "Oh my god!"
Time stopped. The bear froze, and the forest was silent!
A bright light shone upon the man, and a voice came out of the sky.
"You deny My existence for all these years, teach others that I don't exist, and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Do you expect Me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?"
The atheist looked directly into the light. He said, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask You to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps You could make the bear a Christian?"
"Very well," said the voice. The light went out, and the sounds of the forest resumed. The bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head, and spoke.
"Lord, bless this food to my body, and me unto Your service. Amen."
Don't be the Atheist in the story or the one who tries to survive and make it apart from the love and provision of God! He sent His Son Jesus to show us we are never alone. He did what we can never do on our own.
Deuteronomy 31:8 "The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
With a promise like this. Why go it 'Alone'?
Doug S. Gehm
I would be more than glad to encourage you in how to deepen your walk with the Lord, or if you just need to talk to someone - feel free to call me (806-206-5071) or reply to this email.