Summary: This message from the life of the children of Israel shows us what to do when difficulties come our way as a believer.
What do you do with the Hard things in Life?
The story is told of a little boy who went to the grocery store and asked the clerk
for a box of laundry detergent. The clerk was very impressed at such a little guy taking on the
responsibilities of helping his mom with the household chores. So he said to the boy “Well that is
mighty grown up of you to be wiling to help your mother out with the washing. Well the little guy
wanted to set the record straight so he told the clerk, “Oh, I’m not going to use it to wash
clothes, I need it for my dog.” The clerk was a little concerned at that point and so he said “Don’t
you think this detergent might be a little strong for washing a dog?” The little boy replied, “Well,
that’s what I want, he’s a mighty dirty dog.” So the boy took the box of detergent home, and
about a week later returned. Well the clerk recognized him and asked him about his dog. The little
boy said “O my dog is dead” The clerk was shocked “Oh that’s so terrible, I guess that laundry
detergent was too strong after all.” The little boy thought for a minute and said “No, I don’t think
it was the detergent that got him, I think it was the rinse cycle.” Have you ever gone through a
time in your life when you felt like you had been through the wringer. I think all of us have, and
sometimes those times feel like they are ganging up on us, it’s just one thing right after another. I
have to be real honest with you this morning , I experienced a time like that just this week. I know
I have said this before but it bears repeating, if not for you then for myself, “Just because you are
a Christian does not make you immune to the hard things in life. As a matter of fact, sometimes
being a believer opens you up to a whole new set of trials and tests that unsaved people don’t
even begin to understand. This week I learned something’s about myself and about my spiritual
walk because very often it’s how we react when the heat gets turned up that indicates to us our
level of spiritual maturity. At some point every one of us is going to deal with some hard things.
Most of you already know more about that than I have yet to learn. This morning I want to revisit
a message I preached here about 5 years ago dealing with “What do you do with the hard things
in life? What if, what happened to Job happened to you or me. I mean out of the blue, like a
bomb-shell, you experience some difficulty and it leaves an emptiness where your joy used to be?
What if you experience, what a famous British Pastor described as... “a tumbled ruin of your
ordered ways.” I have questioned myself this week as to whether I would be able to say with Job,
“The LORD giveth, and the LORD taketh away, Blessed be the name of the LORD.” What if we
experienced what happened to the Prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 24:16-18. One day the LORD
comes to us and says “Son of man, behold I take away the desire of thine eyes at a stroke; yet
neither shalt thou weep, nor let tears run down...” And then Ezekiel says “So I preached unto the