Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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Now, here was a bothersome headline a while back from USA Today, "Old Faithful Gets Fickle." What? They were referring to that famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park. As long as any of us tourists could remember, that 140 foot tower of steam erupted faithfully about every 66 minutes. But, something was not right all of a sudden this report said. There was a day that the eruption predicted for 12:11 p.m. didn't occur until 12:18 p.m. One predicted for 2:46 p.m. jumped the gun at 2:38 p.m. So "Tommy tourist" who was counting on "Old Faithful" faithfulness might go for a hot dog and say "Hey! I've still got ten minutes," and miss the whole thing. The problem - underground shifts caused by minor earthquakes, and vandalism by visitors who threw everything from chicken bones to underwear into the geysers hole! One Yellowstone geologist actually said this "There's a good chance that five years from now, or five days, or five hundred years, "Old Faithful" is going to be totally unpredictable, or it's not going to erupt anymore altogether." Wow! So, "Old Faithful" becomes "Old Unpredictable."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When Old Faithful Isn't."
Most of us have had something or someone that was kind of our "Old Faithful", but they became "Old Unpredictable." Suddenly the job you've depended on for a long time is gone, maybe even the whole company is gone, or your mate is gone, or your parents' marriage, or some relationship you've depended on heavily.
Maybe your church or your spiritual leaders have let you down and they were once your "Old Faithful." It could be that your own body, the one that has been running fine for years, is suddenly letting you down. Whatever it is, it hurts when an "Old Faithful" isn't anymore. It leaves us disoriented, and afraid, and unsure of ourselves or unsure of our future.
Our word for today from the Word of God begins in Lamentations 3:19. Jeremiah says, "I remember my afflictions and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall, I well remember them and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.'"
Now, Jeremiah's environment was wasted, the city of Jerusalem, the anchor of Jewish identity had been devastated. That's what he's lamenting in Lamentations. Jeremiah's feelings were all over the place - affliction, wandering, bitterness, a downcast soul. He's supposed to be God's man in the situation, and he wasn't even able to manage himself.
Then come these breakthrough words "I have hope." That might be what you're short of right now, hope, His hope: "Lord, everything has moved except you." Each new morning. His love is there in the way you need it for that particular day. You can count on it. If this is a time when an "Old Faithful" has let you down, don't let it bring you down. You've just entered that zone where people taste the mercy and power of God as nowhere else. I call it the "Only God Zone." A season where the living God is all you've got, all you can depend on, and all you need. Unless you let the hurt and the confusion drive you into yourself instead of into Him.
This is a time for you to explore the awesome depths of those Bible words you've sung so many times, "Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father. There is no turning of shadow with Thee. Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me." Your Lord will never abandon you, never divorce you, never lay you off, never be too busy for you. The most powerful Person in the world is totally committed to you.
"Old Faithfuls" aren't always, except for One. Your Heavenly Father will always be there, showing up with all His love and all His power, right on time.