God or Problems

Twelve men went into the Promised Land to spy it out. Ten reported of unassailable giants and couldn’t see past them. Joshua and Caleb looked beyond them and with the help of God saw the possibilities. By concentrating on the giants and not on God the Israelites lost many years wandering in the wilderness. Life is not much different today; it is all a matter of where we look.

I had to look up something in last year’s diary. On this day last year I recorded a great problem I was facing. There didn’t seem to be any way through it, but twelve months later the problems I had then have been solved and have been forgotten. I then looked at a diary for two years ago and couldn’t even understand what the problem was then, the diary entry hadn’t explained it, though it must have been very real at the time.

Today’s problems may seem over whelming but it is all a question of where we look. I have to ask myself, is my problem bigger than God. Of course not! An old hymn says, ‘What the world needs is Jesus, just a glimpse of Him.’ Benjamin Baur. What my problems and I need is Jesus. He knows the answers and is the answer to all life’s problems.

The Widow at Zarephath

The saying goes ‘One good turn deserves another.’ A good saying but not executed much in our societies. This widow in this story was in such great need that she was preparing the last meal for herself and her son before preparing to die of starvation. How unwelcome Elijah’s request would have been! There would not be enough food for three people but nevertheless, she obeys. You can’t gainsay a prophet’s command.

Her obedience was rewarded a hundredfold. The jar of flour would not be used up and the jug of oil would not run dry until the drought was over. She would be catering for Elijah for the next few years. Then we are told that some time later the young son would fall ill and die. Again her kindness would be rewarded yet again. Elijah performed a miracle and brought the lad back to life.

This meant that neither the widow or her son died of starvation during the period of drought. She would also be depending on her son to provide for her as he grew up and this he was able to do because of Elijah’s intervention. Our God is a future-planner.

Worse Day Ever

My 87 year old friend suffered a very severe attack of food poisoning. She told me, ‘I felt so ill, it was one of the worst days of my life.’ Just imagine how the disciples were feeling on Good Friday. Without doubt the very worse day of their lives.

For three years they had followed Jesus, they’d been with Him on the good days and the bad. They had witnessed the feeding of the five thousand, seen and marvelled at many miracles, as well as listening to hours of His teaching. They were beginning to think that He was the promised Messiah and that there were great days to come.

Then suddenly He became ‘enemy number one.’ Where were all the great dreams now? Wherever they were hiding in fear they would have known of the barbaric treatment of their beloved Master. From some viewpoint they would have seen His stumbling journey to the place of Execution. His body on the cross was prominent; they would have seen His anguish and then His slump into death.

All hope gone. The worst day ever.

Another First

It’s a week since I had another ‘first’. I had a coffee outside a cafe in my local city with a friend. It was such a treat. Because the shops are now open there was a buzz of people around. The sun was shining and the breeze was very light. We went to a place I’d never visited before. The coffee was lovely and the staff most welcoming. (They must be desperate for custom after such a long shutdown.)

But the best thing was seeing my friend, June. It was many months since we’d met. We had telephoned but as we know that’s not the same. We had so much so say, so much news to catch up on. She has serious health problems in her family, so it was also a sad time.

I realised once again that God has made us to be in families. We are not meant to be alone as we have been so much during the last few months. Does this time make us appreciate friends and family more? I do trust so.