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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

At least I have a choice!

Working in the garden this evening, I checked the thermometer that is in the shade - 41C!   I brought out the one in the house, that was reading a comfortable 25C.  It rapidly moved to 41C.  I left it in the sunshine, just where I was working.  Before I knew it, it had reached 50C - the maximum for which it is calibrated.  However, it just kept climbing!  It stopped at what I reckon must have been 60C!!!  Little wonder that I was having difficulty working for more than fifteen minutes at a time!!

 However, I then thought of the hundreds, indeed, thousands, who must work in those kinds of temperatures without any breaks.  They have to do so because that is the only way in which they can earn even a meagre living; or because they are prisoners - many of them incarcerated for no other reason than their allegiance to Jesus the Christ, and their faithfulness in witnessing to Him.  I, at least, had the choice as to whether, or not, I attended to the work I was doing. They have no such choice.  I was able to stop when I wanted to.  They stop when they are permitted to do so.  I could enjoy a glass of fresh, ice-cold, water.  They can only dream of such a privilege.  I eventually came into a comfortable home.  They return to what may be little more than hovels; or to prison cells.
This all raises a very important question.  It's not a new question - I think of it every morning as I give thanks for, and ask a blessing upon, my breakfast.  It's a question that many have asked, and continue to ask.  It's the simple question: "Why?"

Why is it that I am so blessed, when others suffer in ways that I can barely imagine?  I wish that I had a nice easy answer to that one!  I don't!  David, the psalmist-king of Israel, wrote these words: "The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage." (Ps. 16:6).  That is really all that I can say.  I do not know the mind of God.  I recalled, this morning, an old couplet that may be known to some: "That Thou shouldst love me as Thou dost, and be the God Thou art; is darkness to my intellect - but sunshine to my heart"!

What I can do is two-fold.  I can constantly thank Father God for His undeserved blessing and favour.  Indeed, I am certain that there are many who do not enjoy the material blessings that I enjoy, who are walking much more closely to Him, and are in deeper and sweeter communion with Him, than I will ever enjoy in my mortal body.  The other thing that I can do is ensure that I share the blessing that I have received, and continue to receive, with those who do not experience the same abundance of provision that is mine.  If you follow the links at the bottom of this page, there are some to a number of Christian organisations who work with the disadvantaged, the persecuted, the imprisoned, and who are able to provide much-needed material relief - provided that we who have so much are willing to support them in their work!

God willing, I shall be working in the garden again, tomorrow.  The indications are that it will be just as hot.  However, I shall not complain.  Rather, I shall give thanks to Him "... Who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy." (I Tim 6:17).  And I shall remember, especially, my brothers and sisters in the Lord who do not enjoy the privileges that are mine.  I am convinced that they will be closer to the Lamb, in Glory, than we who have so much here and now!

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