Over the past month, the state of Oklahoma has been taking on water. Storm after storm has dumped feet of water across the state, saturating the ground, filling ponds, lakes, and streams, and ultimately leading to significant flooding. Like many of you, I have watched with great concern as property has been destroyed and lives disrupted by the weather.
Seeing these rising flood waters also reminded me of an old joke . . . maybe you’ve heard it?
The joke goes this way . . .
There once was a man who lived in a 2 story house in a flood plain. As the rains poured down, it looked like there was going to be a serious flood, so policemen came by the man’s house and warned him to evacuate before the waters rose. The man replied, “I am trusting in God. He will save me!” So the man stayed as his neighbors left for higher ground.
After a while, the water rose and covered the man’s yard, even putting about 6 inches of water in the downstairs of the man’s house. A national guardsman came by in a boat and invited the man (who had now retreated to the upstairs of his house) to hop in the boat and ride to safety. The man replied, “I am trusting in God! He will save me!” So, the man stayed.
Eventually the water came even higher and filled the second story of the house with water, pushing the man to his roof. Eventually, a local news team noticed the man sitting on the roof as they flew their helicopter overhead. They lowered a ladder and invited the man to climb the ladder, get on the helicopter, and fly to safety. The man refused, saying simply, “I am trusting in God! He will save me!”
Finally, the water even overtook the roof of the house, sweeping the man away in the flood waters where he drowned. As the man appeared before God in heaven, the man had only one question, “Why didn’t you save me?” God’s reply was straightforward . . .
“I sent you a policeman, a boat, and a helicopter . . . what more did you want?”
I was thinking about that joke today as I looked at Matthew 21:33-46. In this passage, Jesus tells a parable about a landowner and his tenants who are taking care of his field. In this parable, Jesus reveals the Heavenly Father’s heart for people to respond to His leading, even when we refuse to “get in the boat” that He sends. This Sunday at Wildwood, we will begin looking at “The Father Heart of God” in part 1 of a new series from Matthew 21-23. Join us in our 9:45 or 11:00 service as we begin this study together.