Sunday, February 28, 2010

I was stuck in an elevator!

Right out of college, I took a job at a jewelry store selling higher end merchandise in the mall. The mall I worked at was a busy downtown clientele and in order for me to drive to work, I had to park on the top floor of the parking garage and take and elevator to reach the mall entrance.

One night I had just gotten off work and I found myself alone in the elevator. The Ohio nighttime had an air of crisp coldness that could be felt as the elevator shut its door and made its ascension. I stood back to stare at the doors. Something was not right. The institutional elevator doors could not quite close all the way. I could see that though the elevator was bringing me up, there was a rubber strip that was pulling out of the door. It was probably three inches across and it ran from the top to the bottom of the door. I am a pretty curious individual. I knew I should not touch the rubber strip. Common sense tried to reason within my mind, but I did not listen to that voice. Instead, I poked the rubber strip. Suddenly the elevator shook and jerked. It wobbled for a second and stopped.

Standing in that chilly elevator, I tried to run down a mental checklist. What do you do when you are stuck in an elevator? I mean in all the movies and TV shows there is some hero, like in the movie Speed, comes crushing through the ceiling and rescues the one trapped. I figured that eventually someone in maintenance would realize the elevator was not moving. The awkward coldness of the box began to concern me, so finally I pushed the alarm button.

A young man’s voice came on the intercom asking me what was wrong. I explained to him what happened, and he starts freaking out. “Mam, are you okay? Are you hurt? I’ll get you out of there, I promise.” I could tell he was not going to be doing a heroic rescue. I kept trying to tell the worker I was fine, I just was cold and would like to get out of the elevator.

I do not know how long I was there. Seconds felt like minutes and minutes lingered on. Every so often, this worker would check on me, I guess he was trying to figure out how to get me out.

Finally, with trepidation in his voice he came on again and asked me to explain to him what happened that the elevator stopped. Again, I had to explain that I was just too curious about this rubber strip between the doors and it was fine until I had touched it. “Well mam, We’d like you to pull that strip out between the doors.”

“Excuse me?” I questioned.

“Pull it out. All of it!”

So obediently, I found myself now in a tug-o-war with the rubber material in between elevator doors. As soon as I managed to win the battle, the doors shut again and took me right away to the top floor. I had wrestled with an elevator and lived to laugh about it.

So many times, we treat the things of God as I did to that elevator. We are just too curious for our own good, and we keep messing with what God is trying to do in our lives. We have trust that God knows what He is doing with our lives, and He knows where we are going!

Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) says, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”


God has such special plans for our lives, and it’s a process to get there. But often times we see things and we don’t understand them. They make us curious and we just can’t resist poking at them just as I did with the rubber strip.

If we really trust God, I mean really trust Him we won’t always have to know what everything means or how it’s going to come together. Really trusting someone means I can fall off a ledge and not have to look behind me because I know that their there ready to catch me. Real trust in God means even when I see circumstances that can be contrary to what I know God has said, I’m not going to poke at it or question it. Instead, I’m going to boldly know that my elevator will get me to where I need to go. Even if things don’t always seem like they should work, they will.

I love it when the Hebrews 12:2 scripture says that God is the author and finisher of our faith. God doesn’t just write the book, but He’ll finish what He started. God’s word has power. It finishes what it starts. Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”

Be boldly confident today that your “elevator” will get to where it needs to go, but you have to allow God to get you there. You have to stop nit picking at every little detail and just go along for the ride. You have to trust Him that no matter what you see right now He will finish what He has started. He is a good God that loves you, and His plans and His ways are perfect.

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