In Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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In Luke 8 we read of a woman who had a condition of bleeding for 12 years. She had spent all her livelihood on physicians who simply could not heal her. Similarly in 2 Kings 5, Naaman was an honorable man in the eyes of his king and was highly favored for the numerous campaigns he had won for Syria. However, the Bible tells us that he was a leper. The bible does not tell us explicitly if Naaman sought treatment for his condition. But from his response when he heard about the prophet in Samaria, it is clear that Naaman desired to be healed and could have sought various means with no avail.

Even Moses, a man of God chosen to lead the people of God found himself in a similar helpless situation. After Pharaoh released the Israelites, God led them to the Red Sea and hardened Pharaoh’s heart to pursue them. The Israelites were grumbling against Moses and he cried out to God in his helplessness (Exodus 14:15).

For the woman with the blood condition, time and wealth could not redeem her. For Naaman, his status and authority with all the privileges that came with it could not heal him either. For Moses, his wisdom and leadership could not deliver him from what God had destined to put him through.

We know how it feels to be at our wits’ end. No matter who we are, there will always be a situation that leaves us at our wits’ end. Like the stories above, we have tried everything we could but no amount of time, wealth, status, and brilliance could make our situation any better.

In all three accounts, the resolution came only after they acknowledged the insufficiency of their own efforts and trusted in what God could do for them:

Luke 8:47

Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

2 Kings 5:12-14

12 Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.
13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

Exodus 14:16, 21

16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea…
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided.

As human beings, we are masters of self-preservation. When situations get threatening, we would often find ways to escape. God sometimes puts us in between a rock and a hard place not to destroy us but for us to see His love and power in our lives. Escape is premised upon our own effort. When we escape, there is no need for God to intervene. On the contrary, deliverance is premised not on our effort but on what God can do. When we no longer choose to escape, that is when God can truly deliver us. Through the act of God’s deliverance, we see God’s character and strength. In deliverance, we boast not of our strength but His faithfulness.

Are you in a situation that leaves you utterly helpless? Do not fret nor attempt to escape because God has a beautiful purpose for you when you find yourself in between a rock and a hard place. Be patient and obey God’s direction accordingly and you will be on your way to seeing a miraculous display of His power and love for you.

Let us pray.

Dear Lord, thank You so much for showing me that there is no situation too hopeless or helpless. Forgive me for trusting in my own strength during those times of difficulty and for grumbling against You when nothing changes. I make a commitment not to turn to my strength and escape in times of tribulation but to turn to You and await Your deliverance. Help me to be still as I wait upon You in the storms. Give me the strength to obey Your direction amidst the difficulties I am going through till I see the manifestation of Your love and power in these situations. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

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