The sound was deafening. Although no one was near enough to hear it, it ultimately echoed around the world. None of the passengers in the DC-4 ever knew what happened; they died instantly. That was February 15, 1947. The Avianca Airline flight bound for Quito, Equador, crashed clumsily into the 14,000 foot-high towering peak of El Tablazo not far from Bogota. Then it dropped, a flaming mass of metal, into a ravine far below. A young New Yorker, Glenn Chambers, was one of its victims. He planned to begin a ministry with the Voice of the Andes, a lifelong dream that suddenly aborted into a nightmare.
Before leaving the Miami Airport earlier that day, Chambers hurriedly dashed off a note to his mom on a piece of paper he found on the floor of the terminal. That scrap of paper was once a printed piece of advertisement with the single word WHY sprawled across the center. But between the mailing and the delivery of that note, Chambers was killed. When the letter did arrive, there staring up at his mom was the haunting question--Why? Of all the questions it is the most searching, the most tormenting. No single truth removes the need to ask Why? Like this one. Here it is:
God is too kind to do anything cruel…Too wise to make a mistake…Too deep to explain Himself.
Mrs. Chambers stopped asking Why?…when she saw the Who behind he scene. All other sounds are muffled when we claim His absolute sovereignty. Even the deafening sound of a crashing DC-4.
The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart
Charles R. Swindoll, Word, pp. 245-246.
The parable is told of an old dog that fell into a farmer’s well. After assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the dog but decided that neither the dog nor the well were worth the trouble of saving. Instead he planned to bury the old dog in the well and put him out of his misery.
When the farmer began shoveling, initially the old dog was hysterical. But as the farmer continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It dawned on the dog that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back he should shake it off and step up. This he did blow after blow. "Shake it off and step up, shake it off and step up, shake it off and step up!" he repeated to encourage himself.
No matter how painful the blows or how distressing the situation seemed, the old dog fought panic and just kept shaking it off and stepping up! It was not long before the dog, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well. What seemed as though it would bury him actually benefited him--all because of the way he handled his adversity.
If we face our problems and respond to them positively, refusing to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity, the adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to bless us! Forgiveness, faith, prayer, praise, and hope are some of the biblical ways to shake it off and step up out of the wells in which we find ourselves.
A daughter complained to her father about how hard things were for her. "As soon as I solve one problem," she said, "another one comes up. I'm tired of struggling."
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen where he filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots, in the second, eggs, and in the last, ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
The daughter impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After a while, he went over and turned off the burners. He fished out the carrots and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. He poured the coffee into a bowl. Turning to her he asked, "Darling, what do you see?"
"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.
He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled, as she tasted its rich flavor.
She asked, "What does it mean, Father?" He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg was fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. By being in the boiling water, they changed the water.
He asked his daughter, "When adversity knocks on your door, which are you?"