Altogether scary, spooky, entertaining and imaginative, “The Twilight Zone” is far and away one of the best television shows ever created. If you’re like me, you can probably almost fully recite one of the opening narrations by Rod Serling …
“You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop, the Twilight Zone!”
I remember as a kid watching the show (no, not the original-run episodes … haha) and being completely terrified out of my wits with most episodes because they presented situations that were both unfathomable and yet plausible. It had a way of twisting reality in unexpected ways that often had a random feeling to it, though there always seemed to be an underlying message to the episode … something to provide relevance and context to the supposed randomness.
Over the past few months, I’ve gone through some situations that have felt a little random in a reality-twisting sort of way. Nothing destructive, but there have been many discrete moments where I’ve seriously had to shake my head, look up and say, “Wow. Nice one, God!” In seeing God in some of the head-scratching times, it’s no surprise that as I read this week through Psalms 34-39 and Proverbs 6, I dove cognitively into Psalms 37:23-24.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Life sometimes feels like a “Twilight Zone” episode. The strangest things happen and quite frankly stagger the mind because they seem to make no sense. They seem random. Sometimes it feels as though not only is God not listening, he might be listening and putting us in a circumstantial blender to see how we look all mixed and chopped up.
Can you relate? I think we all can. There are times when I really struggle to understand how God is involved in the craziness. Don’t get me wrong … I don’t doubt frequently … but I do quizzically wrestle in my mind about how exactly God is going to untwist the pretzel of a situation that seems to have arisen. “The Twilight Zone” was the same … I remember watching it wondering what exactly was going to happen to make this insane situation make any meaningful degree of sense.
Psalms 37:23-24 reminds us of a really important point particularly in the “Twilight Zone” moments in our lives. It reminds us that what we perceive as random, haphazard, uncontrolled or uncontrollable, is really right in the sweet spot of God orchestrating the events of our lives for our blessing and for His glory. Of course, we have to be careful not to assume that every situation in our life is going to work out to the best we have intended. That’s not what we’re promised. We are promised that He is actively involved, and “delights in every detail of [our] lives.” We are told that everything we go through will work out in accordance with His plan for us, and will bring us to a blessed end … and end that He intends and sees … which most often is beyond our ability to understand (see Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11), though it doesn’t mean we get what we want or avoid the pitfalls that life will sometimes bring. It does mean, though, that through those times we’re being processed, prepared, and promoted to places He wants for us … as it says, “Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” We’re not promised problem-free lives, but we are promised fulfilled lives … provided we trust Him along the way. God works in a number of dimensions we can’t see or understand, but through which He is constantly growing us and carrying out a plan far beyond our imagination.
I don’t know how exactly my present situation is going to turn out … just like when I watched a “Twilight Zone” episode for the first time. But I do know … like I knew with one of the shows … that it’s going to make sense in hindsight through the twists, turns, scariness, fear, and unpredictability. Our job is not to understand … our job is to continue watching God work, to hang in there with the story and participate where we’re directed to, and appreciate and marvel when the plot is revealed. Sometimes we just have to sit back and let Him help us travel through another dimension than our plan. Let’s commit to praying this week to seeking God’s strength in the scary situations, and to asking Him to give us patience as we wait to see how the twists and turns work out!
Soli Deo gloria!