Wednesday, December 5, 2012
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There's this disease that hits college campuses in the spring every year. It's called "senior panic." You arrive at college as a freshman with this sneaking suspicion that you might just meet the person you're going to marry while you're there. And as you go through college, that suspicion becomes an expectation.
Now, my wife and I met at Moody Bible Institute, where we began our education. And D. L. Moody, well, he was a shoe salesman. In fact, they used to say that Moody was a shoe factory where they would take in old heels, and repair their souls, and send them out in pairs. So, you wanted to come out of there with a mate if at all possible. Right?
You started with that suspicion that you might find somebody, and then it became an expectation, and then maybe in your junior year it became a determination, "I've got to find somebody here! I might not have anybody." And then you hit your senior year; there's no husband or wife in sight - senior panic! Quick, do something! I'm going to miss it if I don't do something fast! Who says panic is only a senior problem?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Problem With Panic."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Acts 27. I'll begin reading at verse 30. The Apostle Paul has been for two weeks in the middle of a terrible storm at sea, as he's being carried by a Roman ship to meet with Caesar in Rome. And as they begin to go aground, some of the crew starts to have, not senior panic, but sailor panic. Here's what they decide to do, listen: "In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. Then Paul said to the Centurion and the soldiers, 'Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.' So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and they let it fall away."
Okay, some background: the Apostle Paul had gotten assurance from the Lord, in the middle of the storm, that though the ship would go aground, the people would be saved. In fact earlier in the chapter, here's the message he conveys, "Do not be afraid. God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you, so keep up your courage men. I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me."
Well, their panic was understandable; the ship's coming apart. Looks like God's not going to deliver them in time. They panic! They scramble for a quick answer. Have you ever done that? See, if they do this, they're not going to make it. If you do, you won't make it. How many times do we look at our storm, we see the ship going down, financially, romantically, emotionally, and we panic. We go for a lifeboat instead of waiting for God's answer, God's provision.
Abraham did it with Hagar and he created a problem for centuries with the two sons of promise, because he and Sarah could not wait for God to fulfill His promise. Rebecca did it with her son, Jacob, when she lied about him to try to get the blessing for him and all she ended up with was a family split apart.
You and I do it when we settle for these patchwork solutions. Because of panic, many of God's kids have ended up with a lot of heartache, in the wrong job, the wrong relationships, the wrong marriage, a mountain of debt. The greatest enemy of God's best may be impatience. "I can't wait for God to deliver." To do as Paul said, "All that God said that He would do."
Those seniors who panic over singleness often get the wrong person. In their rush, they often make a life-long mistake. When they think time's running out, God is right on schedule. Remember, if you panic, you can make a life-long mistake.