Summary: Trying to cover up the problems in your life won’t heal them or make them go away. It is only by exposing ourselves to God that needs are met.
August 3, 2003 Esther 2
Have you ever had a problem that you tried to fix but you just ended up making it worse? In trying to fix a problem that he had on the job, a young man had an accident and created a much bigger problem for himself. Here’s what he said about what happened.
“I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a ten-story building. When I completed my work, I discovered I had about 500 pounds of bricks left over. Rather than carry them down by hand, I decided to lower them to the ground in a barrel by using a pulley, which, fortunately, was attached to the side of the building at the tenth floor. Securing the rope at ground level, I went to the roof, loaded the 500 pounds of bricks, then went back down to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure the slow descent of the 500 pounds of bricks. (You will note in block 11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh 135 pounds.) Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the fifth floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collarbone.
“I continued by rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to
the rope in spite of my pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed approximately 30 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block number 11 of the accident reporting form. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the fifth floor, I met that barrel coming up again! This accounts for the two fractured ankles and lacerations to my legs and lower body. The second encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks, and fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.
“I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks – in pain and unable to stand – watching the empty barrel ten stories above me – I again lost my presence of mind – I LET GO OF THE ROPE.”
Xerxes, the king of Persia, had a problem and in trying to fix it, he, like this bricklayer created pain for himself. You will remember from last week that the king displayed his wealth and glory to the nobles of all 127 provinces of his kingdom for six months. He then invited anyone and everyone to come to a final 7-day party. At the height of the celebration, Xerxes called for his wife, Queen Vashti to come in and parade her beauty before all these drunken men. She refused. In his anger, the king listened to the advice of his counselors, took away Vashti’s place as queen and banished her from his presence forever. The nobles of the provinces liked the king’s “take charge” attitude and agreed to support Xerxes in his quest to invade and conquer the territory of Greece. Xerxes thought that he had fixed the problem and gained everything that he wanted.
Around 481 B.C., he gathered the forces of his empire against Greece…only to be defeated. Xerxes came back home in disgrace. He’s hurting. That’s where we pick the story back up today. As we did last week, we will tell what happened and then draw some practical lessons for our lives out of it.
Throughout this chapter, we are going to discover people who had a need and tried to deal with that need by covering it up – acting as if it didn’t exist. Does that sound familiar? How many times have you tried to deal with a problem by putting it in the closet? You didn’t want to admit it. You didn’t want to face it. You figured that the consequences of revealing it were just too dangerous or painful. Better to deal with the pain that you have now than face the potentially larger pain that revealing the problem might bring. The only way to find a resolution to a problem is by facing it. That’s true of a marriage problem, a work problem, a financial problem or a sin problem. Xerxes was unwilling to deal with his problem in the right way. Let’s see what happened.