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Greg Brothers is an Adventist pastor in Oregon.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Unpardonable Joke

It’s an old joke. Not a very good joke – but then again, how many theological jokes are out there that tie in with this week’s Sabbath School lesson?

You see, this guy is clinging to the roof of his house. The flood waters are rising fast, and he’s praying the kind of prayer you’d expect a man to pray in times like this – “Dear God, please save me,” or words to that effect.

And the Voice comes down from the sky, “Don’t worry – I have heard your prayer and will answer it.”

And no sooner does the Voice say this, then a Coast Guard helicopter arrives, a rescue swimmer drops onto the roof of the house, and they lower the basket for the man to climb in.

But no, the man won’t climb in the basket. “You go on without me,” he tells the rescue swimmer. “God said He’d answer my prayer, and I’m not going to settle for anything less.”

So they argue for awhile – but finally, the rescue swimmer has no choice but to get back in the helicopter and fly off. And no sooner does he do this than the flood waters carry off that house . . .

And the man drowns.

The next thing he knows, this man’s standing in judgment before the Great White Throne – and he hears God say, “Do you have any questions?”

“Yes,” says the man. “Why didn’t You answer my prayer like you promised?”

“Idiot,” says God. “Who do you think sent you the helicopter?”

“End of joke,” as my sister likes to say whenever my jokes are especially lame. “Insert laugh here.”

But the point it makes is worth remembering: that’s the simple fact that God always answers our prayers . . . but He doesn’t always give the answers we’d expect – and sometimes, He doesn’t even give us the answers we want.

And when that happens, we have a choice: we can wait and do nothing until God finally gets around to meeting our expectations.

Or we can get in the helicopter He sends us right then . . . and trust He knows what He’s doing

End of sermon. Insert personal application to your life right here.

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