But I will rescue you on that day, declares the LORD; you will not be handed over to those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the LORD. Jeremiah 39:17-18 (NIV)
My office is in a 1913 Carnegie Library building that served as our city library for sixty years before it became our historical records library. Most of the building is original with a small addition to the back that was completed in the 1950s. This newer construction included a patio that we recently enclosed with a roof and chain link fence to keep the homeless people from using it as their bathroom. I work on the second floor of the original building where the stacks of books used to be kept. It now is storage space and not accessible to the public. I have a very quiet work environment that provide a good place for sorting through the many personnel issues that I face each day. My work space is seen as a sanctuary for staff who need a kind word or a listening ear. They come for wisdom or calm which I will be the first to tell you does not come from within me, but the God I serve. In my own right, I am far from wise or calm. Yesterday, an employee was in talking to me, and it got to be closing time. Because I had to stay late for a special event, anyway, and because she needed to talk, I did not cut her off, but let her continue to vent. When my other staff called to remind me it was time to go home, I told them to leave and I would follow later. They did so. When we were finished talking, the woman and I left together. We exited out of the back door onto the fenced patio. Just as I shut the library door, we noticed that my staff that had left earlier had closed the padlock on the gate that entered the patio. As the library door swung closed behind me, I realized that my keys were in my car. On the other side of the chain link fence. We were locked onto the patio with no way back into the library or out of the gate. We couldn’t even climb over the fence because it goes all the way up to the roof. There was no way of escape. Thankfully, I had my cell phone and called another staff person to come back and open the gate for us. About ten minutes later, he arrived, laughing at my predicament and taunting me because he was free and I was not. Fortunately, he soon let us out and we escaped from our enclosure. Sometimes, I get into other situations where there seems to be no way out. I may have created my own prison from my choices or it may simply be the circumstances that surround me. No matter which way I turn, there is no means of escape. Yet, God is always just a cry for help away. Though we may have to wait upon His timing, we can always depend upon Him to be the key to our release.