Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Living For Eternity

Which of Will & Abby's toys should I play with?
Today brought with it sunshine and cool temperatures to our region.  Forecasters said that with the cooler weather arriving, the chance of severe flooding has been diminished.  It was probably an answer to many people’s prayers that the cooler weather settled into the area.  If the warmer weather had been on track, temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees higher might have brought record floods. 

This brought to light how God’s hand was working in the cooler weather, something that I along with many, I assume, hadn’t thought of.  Several days before, I initially complained about the colder than normal temperatures.  I wanted to see the flowers coming up with the remnant of the snow at last disappearing.  I was thinking about myself instead of the plight of those in the lower flood plain.  In retrospect, I feel a little foolish and ashamed that my eyes were not looking at the needs of so many others, with the potential loss of homes and the dangers that floods can create.  Just 4 years ago when we as a family were back at my hometown of Jackson, Minnesota, Winona had a flash flood that took several lives, and many homes were destroyed and washed away as well.  Our house was not touched while our neighbors home had a river of water running through it.  A short distance from our home, the local road was washed out taking several lives with it.  Farms were destroyed and people lost their cars, machinery and homes as well. 

Where do we put our security?   Is our faith sometimes tried to the breaking point?  For some in a crisis, their whole life’s work is gone in an instant.  For others, it may be the loss of a family member or perhaps their home.  It makes me think, where do I place my trust?  Is it in my surroundings or in something that cannot be destroyed by earthly calamities?   For many in life, that time will occur in some unknown situation or circumstance.  During these events, we sometimes ask, “Does God really care, is he listening to my prayers?  Why is this happening, doesn’t he want me to be happy like my friends?  If that is the case, why did this happen to me?” 

Abby and Anne enjoying the day at the carousel
My pastor yesterday in his sermon said that a missionary overseas was reaching out to a native tribe and during the course of sharing Christ with them; he made an enemy of the local witch doctor.  The witch doctor’s anger had increased to the point of such a degree that he could not take it any more.  The witch doctor grabbed his machete and ran across the village with the intent of killing the missionary.  He arrived at the service the missionary was having, and at that same moment up in front, a women handed her baby to the missionary.  The missionary looked at the child, it had no color left in its skin and was not moving.  It was obviously dead and the woman wanted him to bring her baby back to life.  Puzzled by the event, the missionary did not have time to respond to the mother.  For at that moment, the witch doctor was charging at the missionary with his up raised machete.   The missionary was filled with terror and did the only thing he could do, he yelled at the top of his lungs, “God save me!”

Unusual rock setting in our woods.
The situation was bizarre to say the least.  The missionary holding the dead baby with an expectant mother standing by, an anger crazed man charging at the missionary, seeking only death for his enemy and a stunned audience looking on at the whole scenario.   At that moment, it would go from bizarre to unbelievable.  The baby started to move!  The missionary quickly glanced down at the child, its color had returned and it was looking at him cooing with delight.  At that moment the missionary quickly remembered his beleaguered state and eyed the crazed man approaching him.  During this time the witch doctor witnessed the child coming back to life while running up to missionary, he at once dropped his machete and was dumb struck at what happened to the once dead baby.  Later, he told the missionary, "because I have seen your God bring this baby back to life, I now too will worship this same God."  

Several things transpired throughout this unusual incident.  A baby was reborn back to its mother.  A witch doctor came to accept Christ, as did many onlookers, and not to say the least, the missionary had his life spared in the process.  God had answered the missionary’s earlier prayers that those before him would come to accept Christ.  It made me think when hearing this, if the missionary would have realized before hand how God would have chose to save these people, perhaps then he might have had second thoughts about his calling.  Or to say the least, I could imagine he probably would have made his will up before venturing out to do this task our Lord had set before him. 

God does not always give us the luxury of knowing what might happen to us each day as we go about our lives.  The chain of events leading up to what just happened with the missionary was delicate to say the least, in that everything had to transpire exactly as it did.  Any change in the course of events could have had disastrous outcomes.   God knew before hand all the needs of those present.  He chose to help each person in the face of those adverse circumstances in such a way that would bring each person to his saving grace.   

Here we see one man’s faith being tested to the point of absolute death.  If this missionary would have wavered in his belief in God, the outcome for so many souls might have been different.  This man’s faith did not start with that one defining moment, it began years before when he made a choice to follow Jesus and serve him.

Spring flowers
So where does that take us?  When we chose to follow Jesus it is not a guarantee that we will have a life of ease and with no difficulties.  In Hebrews 13:5-6 God says that he would never leave or forsake us and he would always be our helper and we are not to be afraid.   Trust during these difficult times causes our faith to grow knowing that our Lord does in fact care for us and wants each of us to grow with his wisdom and strength.