Did you hear about the couple from Mexico City who decided to visit Chicago? Jaime and Maña saw all the wonderful sights, and then had dinner in the swanky Signature Room restaurant on the 95th floor of the skyscraper, formerly known as the John Hancock Center. The Center is one hundred stories tall, and is the twelfth tallest building in the world. It is 141 feet taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
It was about midnight when Jaime and Maña stepped onto the express elevator with four other people and began the descent. Little did they know that they would share a lifetime experience with these strangers. At first, the elevator seemed normal. But, without warning, the elevator started descending way too fast. It vibrated and dust particles began coming out of the floorboards. The elevator was in what appeared to be a free fall.
So, what would you do if your elevator on the 95th floor started plummeting toward the ground? This is one of those life moments when whatever is on the inside of you comes out. Not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually. A falling elevator will generate a response. It does not matter if you live on welfare or have great wealth. Your elevator is going down, now what?
Some of you have had this same feeling when the doctors report came back. You sat on the edge of the examining gurney and heard strange words in long sentences that ended with the word “terminal.” But you had so much to live for. There are those plans for the vacation, and the Friday evenings with the grandchildren. You were too busy to die. But you knew that your elevator was going down.
Or perhaps you had this feeling when your spouse told you that they didn’t love you anymore. They wanted out of the marriage and had found someone else more special than you. You heard the words, but could not believe that this was happening to you. Your elevator was going down.
Or maybe you had that “my elevator is dropping” feeling at your business or church. You were totally out of control of whatever would happen next. You were falling, suffocating, and being gripped with a fear beyond comprehension. What were you going to do next?
Back in the elevator, panic had set in. Some were screaming to the top of their lungs. Others were crying and sobbing in hopeless futility. However, Jaime and Maña grabbed each other and began to pray and cry out to God for rescue. All the way down, the doomed elevator car carried six strangers to their fate. Each was responding according to their faith.
Then it stopped rather gently just before the 11th floor. Everyone was safe. However, they had to wait until 3 AM before the firemen could drill a hole through the side wall to rescue them. No problem! They all crawled out physically safe at last. What they didn’t know was that the main hoist rope had broken. But there was a back up cable that caught them just before they hit the ground. Whew! Too close for comfort.
There is an encouraging Bible verse that seems apropos in Psalm 37:24 (BSB), “Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the Lord is holding his hand.” And Deuteronomy 33:27 says, “Underneath are the Everlasting Arms.” Calm down, noble warrior. God has this. Trust him. Stop the screaming and shouting, and trust the One who made you, knows you, loves you, and can catch you.