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“I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.”             (Psalm 34:4)

Inspired by video technology, the concept of an ‘escape game’ has become a trendy experience. Consisting of an action team­ positioned in a real-life location – players cooperatively discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in one or more game rooms over a specified but limited period of time. As escape rooms evolved – physical combination locks, hidden keys, and codes found in the rooms have been introduced. The use of technology and elaborate storylines enhances the visitor experience, making the challenge more interactive and theatrical. Participants include family groups, friends, corporate clients interested in team-building, as well as couples. As the concept popularized throughout the world, there has been increased opportunity for risk-taking. In 2019, an American psychological horror mystery film entitled Escape Room followed a group of people sent to navigate a series of escape rooms, only to discover that their fates are tied to using their wits to survive the maze of deadly mystery rooms.

Throughout the course of history – humans have been seduced by thrill-seeking, often times increasing the risk to the point of placing their own lives in peril. The world’s most exhilarating event takes place each July in the cramped streets of Pamplona in Spain with the Running of the Bulls. The origin dates back to the 14th century when locals began honoring the passing of Saint Fermín who was dragged to his own death by bulls. To this day, adrenaline-seeking contenders sprint down the road literally running for their lives. The enraged bulls show no mercy to those who slip or fall on the course and make this one of the most dangerous running events of all-time. It’s not unusual for daredevils like these to sometimes be critical of those who help disengage them from the messes into which they willingly placed themselves. Some who have a faith background have been known to blame God for not being there to rescue them.

Throughout God’s Word, we find assurances like this one from the Apostle Paul: “And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us” (2 Corinthians 1:10). The Old Testament is full of accounts of God being there to rescue His people.  On the brink of danger, Moses had led the Israelites to the edge of the Red Sea with Pharaoh and his army hot on their trail. If they caught up to them, it would mean death or a return to slavery for the nation of Israel, but God had a plan. Moses told the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:13-14). Suddenly, the waters of the Red Sea ripped open, and they were able to walk across on dry land. When Pharaoh’s army tried to advance after them, they were drowned in the crashing waves of the sea. An equally astounding story (1 Samuel 17:41-50) is revealed when the young, inexperienced David confronted the fierce Philistine, Goliath. Towering above his young combatant, Goliath possessed brute strength and unrivaled weaponry. He challenged Israel to engage in battle, but no one was willing to fight. Imagine the shock when David carrying only a slingshot stepped up for the encounter. Goliath dominated the vision of the doubters. Even so, David saw God. While everyone else believed Goliath controlled the story, he believed God loomed larger. And, with a single stone to the giant’s forehead, David’s faith proved true.

While we will sometimes place ourselves into dangerous situations, God will not create inescapable circumstances. He will provide the strength to do what we cannot. “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety” (Psalm 18:2). At times when there appears to be no means of escape, we allow our fears to control the narrative. However, God is larger and shields us from what might otherwise be a tragic outcome. The blessed reality is that God grants deliverance. This has always been the provision for His people. “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.” (2 Timothy 4:18). The next time you find yourself in a situation in which there appears to be no good ending ahead, dare to ask the question . . . who is it that holds the key to my escape?

REFLECTION: Have there been times when you have engaged your life using an ‘escape game’ mentality? Where or when did you give consideration to the fact that you own self-sufficiency might never be enough to be detached from the risk you were taking? How does understanding God’s power of deliverance serve to provide strength and reassurance for those uncertain situations in your journey ahead?


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