“You have delivered me from all my troubles” (Psalm54:7)
About 350 miles east of here in Schuylkill County Pennsylvania, lies the town of Hepler. The entire population is somewhere around 127, and consists of Hepler’s church, which is adjoined to Hepler’s cemetery. Other than a few country roads, that’s about the extent of Hepler, Pennsylvania. Reid and I know all this, because several years ago we decided to take a trip to Hepler, Pennsylvania. That was our first mistake. We thought because it was such a small town, we could easily drive through it, take a tour of what they had, and then drive out. That was our second mistake. Once you get into Hepler, Pennsylvania, there is no getting out. Back then we had no navigation on our car. Because of the remote location of Hepler, our phones had no cell service. And because of the small population, there were very few people to ask for directions. Hepler has no road signs, let alone highway signs. We did find one farmer. He had no idea how to get back to any interstate, or any road that did not have dirt on it. In fact, I’m not quite sure he even knew where he was. We did find a store that sold farm machinery. After asking its’ large staff of two people, neither one of them knew either. I was beginning to hear banjos playing the song from the movie Deliverance in my head. Were we ever going to get out of Hepler, Pennsylvania? Or were our names going to end up on one of the tombstones in Hepler’s cemetery next to the church? All we could do was pray, and head in what we thought might be a northernly direction. Moss still grew on the north side of a tree as far as we knew. The Lord delivered us! We finally found a sign that pointed to Interstate 81. We have never ventured to Hepler, Pennsylvania again. We have discovered there is a Hepler, Kansas. But trust me, we are not going to be taking a trip there.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation you thought would never end? Of course, you have. We all have. It may be a family situation that keeps us awake at night. It might be a financial or physical predicament we feel is out of our control. Feeling lost and out of control can come from many situations, and many directions.
So, we wait. We wait on God to deliver us. We wait on God to show us the way out. And the longer we wait, the more our faith is challenged. Imagine being Abraham and Sarah having to wait 25 years to receive the miracle of Isaac. And I’m sure Joseph wondered if he would ever get out of that dungeon in Egypt and see the light of day. Think of Noah waiting month after month for the water to receded so he and his family could get off that big boat. And I can’t imagine being Jonah inside the belly of Moby Dick, wondering if he would be eating fish sticks the rest of his life. All had to wait for God to deliver them from the circumstances they found themselves in.
So what circumstances are you waiting to be delivered from right now? Are you wondering if God is hearing your prayers? Are you questioning if God knows the dilemma you find yourself in? Are you waiting and waiting and waiting for God to answer your prayer and redirect your circumstances?
Don’t lose faith. God knows exactly where you are, and he knows precisely when and how to deliver you. Just wait on him. But I would recommend you stay out of Hepler, Pennsylvania.