In a Tight Spot

“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness (Psalm 95:8).”

A man who was driving to escape police pursuit crashed his car near the WinCo Grocery in Lancaster, California.

He then ran into the store and was last seen on the roof of the building but unable to find him police gave up the chase. A few days later a foul odor prompted the store’s manager to call in a plumber who chipped away at a brick column outside the store which revealed a man’s leg. Firefighters were called into clear the rest of the column to extract the man’s remains. The leading theory is that he jumped into a roof access point to hide from police and became trapped in the column and could not escape (1). It was certainly a grisly end for this man who put himself in a tight spot and could not get out. It isn’t hard to imagine that he had time to reconsider his choices and come to regret his decisions.

One cannot help but thinking of the prophet whom God sent to Nineveh to deliver a message who instead drove in the opposite direction to escape (Jonah 1:3). His failed attempt to elude God’s directions found him in a tight spot of his own, in the belly of a great fish for three days and nights (Jonah 1:17). Can you imagine being confined in such a way, practically entombed inside a fish? The Bible tells us that the prophet did have time to reconsider his ways and his time in this tight spot caused him to change his attitude (Jonah 2:5-7). But it is very interesting that when he had been blessed with comforts (Jonah 4:6) and then lost them his anger returned (vv.6-9). What a difference in this man when he was in a tight spot and thereafter.

Sometimes God puts us in tight spots to test and perfect our faith (Deuteronomy 8:2) as all too often we are corrupted by comforts and a life of ease (Deuteronomy 8:11-19). Repeatedly the Israelites forgot God when times were good but had to be sorely tested (Judges 2:11-15) before repenting and calling for Him to rescue them from their tight spots (Judges 2:16-18).

Sometimes, God allows those who wander away to place themselves into a tight spot to recognize their needs to repent (Luke 15:14-17). All too often, riches and comfort do little to draw us closer to God but instead it is those times of trials that bring us closer and remind us of our total dependence upon Him. It is through these tight spots that our faith is perfected (James 1:2-4). Peter explains that not only do these tight spots work to mature our faith but helps us to reach our life’s goal of eternity in heaven (1 Peter 1:6-9). It seems that these tight spots are actually good for us and lead us to life and not death as it does for those who fail to repent when they find themselves in a tight spot.

The next time you find yourself in a tight spot, take a breath and consider what lead up to your confinement. And then pray and ask for God’s deliverance. Perhaps it is to chasten us (Hebrews 12:7) and even a tight spot He has placed us in to perfect us. Ultimately, those who are His children will be brought out of every tight spot in His time.

“Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off (Romans 11:22).”


Billy Alexander is a member of the church of Christ in Jersey Village in Houston, TX. He and his wife Gwen both work at Hewlett-Packard where they met and have worked more than 25 years each. Billy enjoys teaching Bible several times each week at Jersey Village and Memorial church of Christ. Since 2008, his weekly article "Equipping the Saints" as run in the Jersey Village bulletin.