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Wheels and deals

When someone came to town in a fancy car, or was in charge of something really important, we used to call them a big wheel.  Today that term has shortened (in some circles) to wheel.

The biggest wheel I can think of is Jesus.   God sent him to save the world.  That is a pretty big deal.  The biggest deal I can think of as well!

In the scripture, there are only a few instances of wheels that I can remember.  One is the wheels of Pharoah’s chariots as they chased after the people of Israel.   They were rendered useless by the power of God, in that instance the parting and covering of the Red Sea.

Then there was the wheel that Ezekiel saw in the heavens. Actually a wheel within a wheel in the midst of a whirlwind and fire.  Technical examinations aside, it speaks to me of the presence of God in the captive Ezekiel and in all of us who are captive to anything which holds us back from the divine.

Jeremiah went down to the house of the man who was shaping clay on a potter’s wheel.  God told him that he could shape people and nations just like that.  If the nation repented of its evil after being warned, he would not destroy it.  On the other side of the coin, if a nation was blessed and turned to evil, he will reconsider the good he intended for it.

We now turn to the wheels on the chariot of the Ethiopian eunuch, who wanted to know about the scripture.  Philip began with the scripture and told him about Jesus, and the man was baptized as a Christian.

What God wants from his people is for the wheels of faith to begin turning in ways which bring heaven to all those who are waiting to hear.   He wants us to use old ways and invent new ways of sharing the gospel, of helping people find faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

In 1893, engineer George Ferris built a machine that bears his name — the Ferris wheel. When it was finished, he invited a newspaper reporter to accompany him and his wife for the inaugural ride. Despite the greatwind of that day, the wheel turned flawlessly. After one revolution, Ferris called for the machine to be stopped so that he, his wife, and the reporter could step out. In braving that one revolution on the windblown Ferris wheel, each occupant demonstrated genuine faith. Mr. Ferris began with the scientific knowledge that the machine would work and that it would be safe. Mrs. Ferris and the reporter believed the machine would work on the basis of what the inventor had said. But only after the ride could it be said of all three that they had personal, experiential faith.

The kind of faith which wows people like the invention of the Ferris wheel is rare.  God waits to put it in all of us.  He wants us to treat faith like it is a big, big deal, and that knowing Jesus is the biggest deal of all.

When Joseph discovered that the men who had come to see him were his brothers, Pharoah told them to take carts back to Canaan and get his family.  Never mind about the belongings, he told them, for the best of Egypt would be theirs.

As the wheels of those carts begin to turn, the people are on a new adventure which is still going on.  They do not know about the years of slavery to come.   They do know that there are many years of blessings in store to those who follow the one true God.

The Psalmist writes of the blessed people of God, “You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks, and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.”  Psalm 65:11-13

The next time you shop online and click the button, “add to your cart,” remember that the cart of God turns wheels which defy the imagination.

When you step into a car, see the wheels turn on another, or grip the steering wheel on any vehicle, remember that God turns the wheels of infinity, of heaven, for you.  

The next time you push a shopping cart, feel the wheels shake or hear them rattle, for they always do, remember that God’s wheels are perfectly in balance, and he wants to fill our spiritual carts with heavenly blessings.

Just as Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches, we can roll that image to realize that we are the wheel, and he is the axle upon which we spin.  We can go our own way, a solitary journey of a big wheel who really wasn’t, of join with two or four or more wheels that Jesus has destined for marvelous adventures ahead.

May God be the best deal in your life.  And may he be the biggest wheel!