LIFE IS TOUGH, GET A HELMET


INTRODUCTION

Ron was having a really bad day. In fact, if you were to ask Ron right now, he would say he was having a really bad life. Last year, he got divorced after six great months and three horrible years of marriage. Last month, he lost his dream job as a graphic designer at a small advertising company due to the failing economy and layoffs. Although he had found work at a sign company, he was only making about half of the salary he was making at his previous job and was going to have to sell his new car. Late this afternoon, Ron was heading to the car dealership to make the deal trading his new car for a used one. While stopped at a red light, another car struck him from behind. Once the police left, feeling distraught and overwhelmed, Ron started walking. With no specific destination in mind and oblivious to his surroundings, he just kept walking. After several hours, feeling he was near the end of his rope, Ron decided to call his dad. “Hello. This is Mike.” Just the sound of his dad’s voice seemed to ground him. “Dad. I don’t know what to do.”, said Ron. Mike could hear the distress in his son’s voice. In a comforting and compassionate tone he said, “Tell me what’s wrong son.” Ron started off with the details of the wreck, but before long he was recounting every misfortune of his adult life. Mike listened patiently. Ron went on for nearly 45 minutes. He only stopped talking because of the beep on his cell phone indicating his battery was about to go dead. “Great!” Ron said out loud feeling even more sorry for himself. “What’s wrong now son?” Mike asked. “My cell is about to die!” At that point Mike knew he didn’t have much time. “Now son, this may be hard to hear right now, but you know one of my favorite sayings has always been, Life is tough….” In anger Ron cut off his father. “Life is tough, get a helmet!! I know dad! I’ve heard it a million times! And you know what!” Ron paused for a moment. “You know what!!!” he yelled. Surprised his father didn’t answer he looked down to see that his cell phone had died. In a fit of rage, Ron threw the phone on the ground and stomped on it. Ron was overcome with anger, grief, frustration and self pity. He felt absolutely lost and alone. “Come on dear.” a strange voice said. Ron looked around to see a lady and her young daughter walking around him and away in a hurry. Ron had been so engrossed in the conversation with his dad, he didn’t even realize he had been pacing around in circles in a parking lot for the last 10 minutes. Feeling more embarrassed than anything else, Ron hung his head and started walking again. When he came to the street, he was even more embarrassed to realize he was in a church parking lot. Looking left, then right, not sure which way to go, he noticed a man descending a ladder at the sign in front of the church. Right there, he fell to his knees. He began crying. He looked up to see if it was real. Through the tears and heartache, he made out the words just placed on the sign, “PUT ON THE HELMET OF SALVATION!” Ron got to his feet and started walking. It didn’t take long to reach the front door of the church. He didn’t know where the strength came from to walk through them.


SCRIPTURE

Focus Verse: Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Additional Verses: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Romans 8:18, Romans 8:28


DISCUSSION

By the grace of God and His sovereignty, Ron was saved that Wednesday evening. A few months later, by his testimony, Ron led his father to a saving knowledge of Christ. It was some time later before Ron truly started to appreciate how each and every moment of his life had led him to that church, on that day, at that time. And although the man descending the ladder was the only reason Ron noticed the sign that Wednesday evening, Ron never knew that the man had always changed the sign on Monday’s. But that week the man’s wife had been sick and he couldn’t get to it until Wednesday. It is so easy to get lost in our own self pity and complaining. Think of the suffering of Paul as he lived a faithful life spreading the gospel of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:24-27). Did he give up? Did he sit around complaining? Of course not. Paul knew that God was on his side (Psalm 118:6). Let the helmet of salvation guard your mind against negative thoughts. Find peace and strength in the knowledge that, as a Christian, no matter what trials or tribulations you face in this life, you will spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus. God created us in His image. While we endure the troubles of this world, we will have a yearning in our heart to be with Him in a perfect world under His perfect rule (Ecclesiastes 3:10-11). Put on the whole armor of God so that you will be able to withstand the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-18).


PRAYER

Father, as I praise Your holy name, I thank You for my salvation. May I find peace and comfort in knowing all things of this world are temporary. Nothing compares to the glory and honor and peace of eternity with You. Forgive me when I fall short. Strengthen me to never stop trying. Give me wisdom so that I see things from Your perspective. I choose to love You with all my heart and soul and mind and strength. Help me to love others as You have loved me. In the name of Jesus, I humbly ask these things. Amen.