One Thing to Ask God
February 8, 2015
In A View from the Zoo, Gary Richmond describes the birth of a giraffe:
The first thing to emerge are the baby giraffe’s front hooves and head. A few minutes later the plucky newborn calf is hurled forth, falls ten feet, and lands on its back. Within seconds, he rolls to an upright position with his legs tucked under his body. From this position he considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last vestiges of the birthing fluid from his eyes and ears.
The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heals.
When it doesn’t get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts. …Finally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs. Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible in order to stay with the herd, where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild hunting dogs all enjoy young giraffes, and they’d get it, too, if the mother didn’t teach her calf to get up quickly and get with it.…
There are days when you likely feel like you’ve been kicked like that newborn giraffe, aren’t there? There are various kinds of troubles in life that find us, though we don’t want them. We don’t seek them out, but they arrive, not knocking, but kicking down our front door, boldly intruding on our lives and tempting us to anxiety, worry, and depression.
We wish that troubles, trials, and difficulties were rare and unusual, but the Scriptures regularly remind us of the reality and regularity of problems and trouble in life:
- “For man is born for trouble, As sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:7)
- Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help. (Ps. 22:11)
- The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses. (Ps. 25:17)
- “Why did I ever come forth from the womb To look on trouble and sorrow, So that my days have been spent in shame?” (Jer. 20:18)
- “My eyes fail because of tears, My spirit is greatly troubled; My heart is poured out on the earth Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, When little ones and infants faint In the streets of the city.” (Lam 2:11)
- “In the world you have tribulation…” (Jn. 16:33)
- “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…” (2 Tim 3:1–5a)
- “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Tim. 3:12–13)
- “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you…” (1 Pet 4:12)
- “For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know.” (1 Thess. 3:4)
When in trouble, what is our source of help? How might we live as those who are “more than conquerors”? Psalm 27 provides an answer.
When you have trouble, trust God.
Trouble does not preclude God’s power; God never fails or forsakes His people. So here are four responses to trouble in our lives (and four reasons to trust God):
- A Confidence for Troubled Hearts: God is Strong (vv. 1-3)
- A Quest for Troubled Hearts: Seek God (vv. 4-6)
- A Prayer for Troubled Hearts: “Teach Me, God” (vv. 7-12)
- A Commitment for Troubled Hearts: Wait for God (vv. 13-14)
Download the rest of this sermon on Psalm 15.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.