“It’s a TV game show that takes place right here in my taxi!”
Alright, so if you’re not familiar with this great Discovery Channel show, you are probably pretty confused. So, I’ll fill you in…
Basically, there’s this cab in New York City driven by our host, Ben Bailey. The passengers are asked questions ranging in prize money and difficulty until they reach their destination. There are “RED LIGHT CHALLLENGES!!!!!”, three strikes and you’re out, and at the end the passengers have the option of doubling their money with a video bonus question. That’s about it. Simple.
The cool thing about the show is that it totally catches the contestants/passengers off-guard. It doesn’t make sense to them at first. They get into the cab expecting on thing and then their expectations are totally up-ended. And at the very least the people get a free cab ride.
So, often we have expectations for our lives. We have plans. And then things happen. Life happens and our expectations change and they shift. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but whatever the case maybe it catches us off-guard.
The one person that is never caught off-guard, though is our Lord. He knows the good, the bad, and the in-between and nothing is a surprise. But He does surprise us. He surprises us in that He takes the bad and the ugly… the problems and the pain… and brings us to places that we never thought we could be.
People who overcome major illnesses are able to help others who may be facing the same thing. People who have faced financial difficulties can sympathize with others who have problems in similar areas. We become more compassionate by going through the fires of life. We become more generous by needing generosity ourselves. We become better people by the discipline that comes from the hard times.
It’s unexpected. Good coming out of the bad. Loveliness coming out of ugliness. But that is the entire story of the Bible. God making great things come out of horrible things. Pick up the Bible and take nearly any story, and that’s what you will find. This is a great passage that points to that very thing.
He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity. – Job 36:15
How does God deliver people? By their pain. How do people hear Him? When they are in pain. God makes beautiful come out of the ugly… the great come out of the small.