Summary: God rescues us from meaningless, purposeless, hopeless living.
You can forget "The New Adventures of Superman." As far as I’m concerned, his old adventures are the greatest. I remember jumping off that big, yellow school bus, racing across the road and into the living room. I’d snap on the TV and wait for the tube to warm up. If I’d gotten home in time, I’d hear…..
"Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!"
"Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!"
It was always the same. Episode after episode, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, two of the only three reporters the Daily Planet could afford, rushed off in pursuit of a "scoop" only to be scooped up by the bad guys.
Did these two have the good sense to worry? Of course not! For, in the guise of Clark Kent, their mild-mannered colleague, Superman was always watching out for them. Lois and Jimmy knew they could depend on Superman.
He bursts through the wall---the brick wall. The adobe bounces and the dust flies and there he stands! Out come the villains’ guns. How I love George Reeves’ classically bored expression as the bullets bounce harmlessly off his chest!
"Oh, Superman!" gushes Lois. "You saved us again!"
With a wry grin, Reeves would reply, "That’s my job, isn’t it, Miss lane?"
Wouldn’t it be a comfort to have somebody like Superman watching out for us? Got a flat and no jack? No problem for the Man of Steel! He can pick up the car, hold ‘er steady while we change the tire, and never even break a sweat!
But why waste such a magnificent creature on small stuff? Save him for when we’re stricken with a fatal disease. Why, he can fly into the future, retrieve the cure, and be back before one second has ticked by!
Did Mom and Dad break up? Superman can fix it. Am I saddled with some fear or compulsion, habit or addiction? You know Supe’s gotta be able to help!
After all, that’s why they call him "Superman," isn’t it?
But, let’s face it, reality is much more "steel" than superman will ever be "man of." And fantasizing does little, if anything, to help our hurts.
Well, what about God, then? He’s real, isn’t He? Yes, I believe He is. He loves us, doesn’t He? Yes, I believe He does. Well, why doesn’t He rescue us when we’re in trouble?
You know, sometimes He does. If you listen to the "Focus On The Family" radio program, you probably heard the dramatic story of Duane Miller. He was a minister who loved to preach and sing. Then Duane lost his voice and plunged into a pit of despair. Did god rescue him? Did He! Not only did He restore Duane’s voice, He allowed the miracle to be audio-taped as it happened!
King David knew how God could rescue. He’d pulled David’s fat out of the fire more than once. And David loved to make up songs—Psalms, we call them—about these rescues. "The sorrows of death compassed me." Sings David in the eighteenth Psalm. "The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me." In David’s distress, he calls on the Lord. Then, by George, things start to happen!
"Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth…he did fly upon the wings of the wind…" David’s description of God’s ride to the rescue includes lightning, hail, and coals of fire. About the only thing missing is His bursting through a brick wall!
But David knew the other side of the coin too. The eighteenth Psalm is a song of triumph. Flip just a couple pages in your Bible, however, and you’ll find David singing a different tune" "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me?" (Psalm 22:1).
The favor he quaffs in Psalm 18 is flung back into his face. "They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him" (7-8).
One thing about the Bible, it’s realistic. Pollyanna didn’t write it and you do get the bitter with the sweet.
But the question remains: Why must we have the bitter at all? Especially if God loves us?
And we’re not talking about flat tires or even the flu. We’re wondering why we’re dealt such cruel and continuous blows. Here’s a thirty-eight-year-old mother of two left without a husband and a father for her children. Here’s a lady who’s being fed a steady diet of contempt by her philandering mate. Here’s a kid who has to cope with dope on the playground and no hope at home. Here’s a world where "Look! Up in the sky!" is just an invitation to look at a bird or a plane….or a particularly dark cloud.