Pastor Ralph J. Mineo
A man on a camping trip went hiking alone in the woods. His family was at their campsite. During the hike, he fell and badly gashed his leg. Limping and bleeding considerably, he struggled back to the campground. Shocked to see her husband’s condition, the wife was even more surprised to discover that the man hadn’t even opened the fully stocked first aid kit in his backpack. “Why didn’t you put a bandage on?” she demanded. The man replied, “That’s only for emergencies!”
Actually, this is an unrealistic and silly story. But there’s an element of truth when looked at spiritually. We sometimes struggle with hardships, stresses, and difficulties — but we choose to limp along spiritually when we have divine resources readily available to us, not the least of which is the powerful Word of God!
God’s Word is certainly not “for emergencies only” but, thanks be to God, it’s available for emergencies. I think there’s a real danger (or at least a risk) in adopting an attitude of only turning to God and God’s Word “in emergencies.” We need to establish a strong foundation BEFORE emergencies arise. When the worst happens, the resources we need are within our grasp, already deeply rooted in our souls.
In the “unrealistic and silly” story about the hiking man, note that he ended up back home. Certainly his wife would tend to his wounds. I totally believe that having a “church home” and a “church family” are God-given gifts for us to be cared for in times of spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental injury. Solitude is sometimes good, healthy, and refreshing. God created us this way. But I think God also created us and calls us to have a community of faith — not just for emergencies, but for living what Jesus called “the abundant life.”
There’s really no divine “quick fix,” or spiritual “magic pill” to solve our problems and deal with stresses of life. A strong, healthy spiritual life, with a church home and a church family, is far from being “unrealistic and silly!”
God provides for our well-being a book, a family, a Savior. Let us again appreciate and embrace what God provides!