What a strange time we’re living in. Each week seems to bring its own set of uncertainties. I’ve lived long enough and studied history enough to know that every era brings unique challenges to those born into their times. But you and I are living in this day, brought into this world “for such a time as this,” as it says in the Book of Esther. But how do we deal with what feels like everything being off-balance?
The Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City Beach, Florida, had an attraction called The Old House. During the 1960s and 70s I made many trips to that park and came to know that walk-though funhouse in great detail. The first challenge was a room of many doors which challenged the visitor to find the way out. Only with a bit of outside-the-box thinking could a person figure it out. On the second floor, a sign bid us come and look over the balcony to the room below. As the person stepped out to lean over the rail, the balcony suddenly pivoted down on a hinge and made us think we were falling to our death. Another dark passageway’s floor shifted with the weight of those walking and made us lose our balance and perspective. All these clever features became familiar to me, and I delighted in understanding how to negotiate my way through the whole disorienting house. Even more fun was bringing friends through it with me, and watching first-timers be surprised or frightened by the challenges.
Tourists and locals alike enjoyed this spooky walk-through funhouse and its illusions before the days of giant theme parks. In the early 2000s, all of the rides and features of The Miracle Strip were torn down or moved to other parks. I think Gatlinburg, Tennessee still has a similar structure called Mysterious Mansion.
I suppose I’m reminded of The Old House these days because of what seems to be rampant deception in our world. We are walking through a place where our footing seems uncertain. It’s sometimes hard to discern what’s real or fake, truth or lies. What or who is trustworthy?
Of course, you know where I’m going with this. In this upside-down world, the only thing right-side-up is the Word of God. I’m glad there are specific scriptures that speak to this very scenario with certainty, but I won’t unload all of them on you here.
Jesus told his disciples that those who hear and do the Word of the Lord are like those who build on a solid rock foundation, and the storms of life won’t sweep them away like those who build their lives on sandy, dry river beds. (Luke 6:48-49 or Matthew 7:24-27)
David praised the Lord as his Deliverer in Psalm 18. Verse 33 is also cited in 2nd Samuel 22:34 and Habakkuk 3:19, so if it’s stated three times in the Bible, I pay closer attention. But here’s how David described his experience.
31. For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?– 32. the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. 33. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. – Psalm 18: 31 – 33
Confidence. Strength. Sure-footedness. Security. Perspective. That’s what we need.
Finally, I remember the chorus of an old hymn I grew up often singing at church.
“On Christ, the solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.”
I’ve worked my way through the Word enough to become familiar with God’s principles and promises. Not that I’ve mastered it. There’s always so much more to learn. But the Word points to The Word – Jesus Himself, who is God with Us. His Holy Spirit guides us, even in these dark, disorienting times, and even if we’ve never rehearsed the way down this path before.
What a comfort and confidence to give us the equilibrium we need to stand upright before Him and be His ambassadors to help others through to the end as well.