Summary: What do you do when everything in your world falls apart?
Introduction: During a transatlantic flight the pilot came over the intercom and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I'm delighted to be your pilot for this plane's flight. I can tell you the flight is going well. Nevertheless, I have to tell you about a minor inconvenience that has occurred. The passengers on the right side can, if they look out their windows, see that the closest engine is slightly vibrating. That shouldn't worry you, because this plane is equipped with four engines and we are flying along smoothly at an acceptable altitude. As long as you are looking out the right side, you might as well look at the other engine on that side. You will notice that it is glowing, or more precisely one should say, burning. That shouldn't worry you either, as this plane is designed to fly with just two engines if necessary; and we are maintaining an acceptable altitude and speed. As long as we are looking out the plane, those of you on the left side shouldn't worry if you look out your side of the plane and notice that the engine that is supposed to be there is missing. It fell off about 10 minutes ago. Let me tell you that we are amazed that the plane is doing so well without it. However, I will call your attention to something a little more serious. Along the center aisle all the way down the plane a crack has appeared. Some of you are, I suppose, able to look through the crack and may even notice the waves of the Atlantic Ocean below. In fact, those of you with very good eyesight may be able to notice a small lifeboat that was thrown from the plane. Well, ladies and gentlemen, you will be happy to know that your captain is keeping an eye on the progress of the plane from that lifeboat below."
Today you may feel like one of the passengers on the plane. Everywhere you look things are falling apart and it seems that you will surely crash and burn. Maybe your marriage is falling apart, your career, your finances, your kids, your emotions or your health. Sometimes life has a way of tearing us apart. If it seems that everything in your life is falling apart today you need to know that God is still in control. He has not fallen off of His throne. He still loves you and has a plan for your life. We tend to think that when things are falling apart God must have it in for us. It’s the same theology Job had to deal with. Job’s friends repeatedly told him that he must have done something really bad for his life to be falling apart the way it is. Yet what neither Job nor his friends recognized was that something was going on behind the scenes in heaven and that God was still in control, and that God was going to restore Job. God is a restorer! When things are falling apart God can put our lives back together.
We are given an incredible metaphor of how God restores us when life is falling apart in Amos 3:11-12...
“Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘An enemy will overrun the land;
he will pull down your strongholds and plunder your fortresses.’ 12 This is what the LORD says: ‘As a shepherd saves (recovers) from the lion’s mouth only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites be saved, those who sit in Samaria on the edge of their beds and in Damascus on their couches.”
Amos is the best book to look at as a representative example of the Old Testament Minor Prophets. He, along with the other Minor Prophets warned Israel that unless they changed their ways that God’s judgment would sweep in like a fire and devour them. God had chosen Israel to be His very own special possession. He raised them up, took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. He fed them and provided for them for forty years in the wilderness. He provided a land flowing with milk and honey and drove out their enemies before them. He gave them a king when they clamored for one and blessed their crops and increased their borders. Yet the people had a habit of turning away from God to worship idols. God sent the prophets to warn the people repeatedly but they refused to listen and continued to worship their idols. Finally, the breaking point came and Amos prophesied that the Assyrians would invade the land and destroy it and take the people captive. The destruction would be so severe that what remained of Israel would only be two leg bones and a piece of an ear. We can learn about God from two leg bones and a piece of an ear.