在壓力之下，我們當中有幾個人會面對危機、獲得勝利而且高升像那匹驢子一樣？我們一生當中都會遇到各樣的陷阱、身心靈或是情緒各方面讓我們灰頭土臉的狀況。也許你現在就在這樣的狀況裡面。問題是，我們如何去轉換和解決這些逆境？有時候，我們聽有時候會到某人說，即使在某些狀況之下，他們還是過的很好 (doing all right)。我會很想問，你們做了什麼？
省思 / 討論題目
你聽過驢子的故事嗎？你覺得這個故事對我們的生命有什麼啟示？ 當你背著沉重的擔子或是面對看起來沒有辦法克服的壓力時，你通常會如何反應？ 如果你讀過以利亞戰勝數百個拜巴力的假先知的故事，就知道他的勝利非常明顯就是神蹟。但後來他面對耶洗別的死亡威脅反應卻是完全相反，你如何看待這件事？ 在你的一生是否也像以利亞一樣，你覺得自己沒有辦法在去面對任何一個問題，無論它是大還是小？你只想趕快逃跑，躲避壓力？如果你現在正處在這樣的景況或著將來發生這樣的事情，你希望神如何回應你？解釋你的答案。備註:如果你手上有聖經，想要看看或是討論其他與這篇主題相關的經節，請看：列王記上18-19章；以賽亞書40章31節；羅馬書5章3-5節；哥林多後書12章9-10節；彼得前書5章7節
DIGGING OUT FROM ADVERSITY
For years I have been intrigued by the power of telling stories. I believe every one of us has a story, a story worth telling. I am about to demonstrate for you that even a donkey has a story, a "dirty" little story.
This tale concerns a farmer’s donkey that stumbled and fell into an old, dry well. Upon discovering the incident, the farmer evaluated various possibilities for freeing his beloved donkey, which had come to be regarded as a virtual member of the family.
Finally, finding no viable solution for getting the donkey out of the very deep well, the farmer decided to fill the well with dirt. The farmer felt deeply grieved, knowing this meant burying the donkey alive. But he consoled himself, knowing no one else would suffer the same disastrous fate as the clumsy donkey.
As the farmer emptied each shovel of dirt into the well, it fell on the donkey’s back. Undaunted, the donkey merely shook off the dirt and packed each shovelful of earth under his feet. Amazingly, after a few hours and hundreds of shovel loads of dirt, the donkey had risen above the edge of the well. With a lurch, it jumped over the side of the well and trotted off. What initially had seemed like the donkey”s demise turned out to be its salvation.
Under stress, which of us could confront such a crisis and rise up victoriously like the donkey? We all encounter pitfalls and "dirty" physical, spiritual, and emotional burdens on the path of life. You might be confronting one right now. The question is: How can we sift through and overcome these adversities? We sometimes hear people state they are “doing all right under the circumstances.” When I hear this, I feel tempted to reply, “What are you doing under there?”
This donkey story reminds me of a very different account, from the Bible, that had similar results. It is the story of the prophet Elijah, recounted in 1 Kings, chapters 18 and 19. It would be worth your time to read the two chapters in their entirety, but here is a brief summation.
After a decisive victory on Mt. Carmel confronting prophets of false gods, Elijah, the prophet for the true God of Israel, went into a depression. As is sometimes the case following events that send emotions soaring to unprecedented peaks, Elijah”s emotions plunged. Perhaps it was stress hormones subsiding once the crisis was overcome, but the prophet suddenly felt incapable of facing another problem.
Some readers fault Elijah, claiming he lacked faith. The truth is, this prophet was not indestructible. He was a man with human weaknesses, “a man just like us” (James 5:17). After participating in the supernatural defeat of hundreds of false prophets, Elijah”s emotional rollercoaster spiraled downward. Upon receiving a threat on his life by Queen Jezebel, Elijah succumbed to fear and fled.
If you read the rest of Elijah”s story, you will see God orchestrating a divine rescue. Instead of chastising Elijah, God feeds him and lets him rest before restoring him and sending him back to the spiritual battle.
What about you? Are you feeling overwhelmed by adversity? Or maybe you have experienced great victory, either at work or in your home, but feel strangely depleted emotionally. Your energy and motivation are sapped, leaving you feeling like a limp rag. If so, remember the stories of the donkey and the prophet Isaiah. Ask God to restore you – and then be prepared to return to the battle.
Adapted from the “Weekly E-Blast,” weekly devotional from Single Purpose Ministries, by Ed Thompson. He lives near Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.A. He was an associate staff member with CBMC in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Had you ever heard the story of the donkey before? What is your response to it – what can this teach us for our own lives? What do you typically do when facing serious, even seemingly insurmountable burdens and pressures? If you read the account of Elijah”s triumph over the hundreds of prophets for the false gods of Baal and Asherah, you will see the circumstances of his victory were clearly miraculous. What do you think of his subsequent response when confronted with a death threat from the queen? Has there ever been a time in your life when, like Elijah, you felt you could not face another problem – large or small – and you just wanted to run, to flee from the pressure? If you have – or if something like that should occur in the future – how would you expect God to respond to you? Explain your answer.NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: 1 Kings 18-19; Isaiah 40:31; Romans 5:3-5; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; 1 Peter 5:7