Was greatly helped by God through a simple word from His Word this morning. Yesterday was a glorious day, weather wise, as warm and bright as mid summer . I was thanking God for all His blessings as I walked on a beach, when a familiar shadow began to settle on me. I am not sure if it comes from being a pastor for many years and hearing so many stories of people’s struggles and pains or if it is just an awareness of the injustices that so many face throughout the world, but from time to time the thought of human pains seem to settle upon me in a way that makes it difficult to continue rejoicing: it would feel selfish, unfeeling, to continue with happiness, enjoying the beauty of the moment.
To cut a long story short, I asked God to help me. Today I picked up David Strutt’s book, “Sanctuary” and turned to the back pages to find the Scripture reading for the day. It was Acts Chapter 9. I read this word: “Meanwhile…” My prayer on the beach was answered. I was helped. Acts Chapter 8 tells us the story of a wonderful move of God in Samaria and a conversion on a desert road that opened up the possibility of the gospel spreading to another nation, namely Ethiopia. Glorious spiritual sunshine! Then the word, “Meanwhile…” At the same time as the glorious events in Samaria and a desert road, there were still murderous threats being breathed against the church.
“Meanwhile’ reminded me of the “Already here but not yet” of the Kingdom. Blessing and struggle, deliverance and waiting, well, they are like parallel tracks on the bigger scale and in the bigger scene of the worlds’s happenings: they seem to go hand in hand. There is always the “meanwhile” of conflicting experience to my own happening somewhere. Indeed, even in our own life, there can be an experience of “meanwhile” happening; great blessing in one aspect of life but great struggle in another area at one and the same moment. There is almost always a “meanwhile” going on. It is the way it is…
I resolved this morning, to live the moment with God and receive God’s good gifts with joy and enjoy them fully. Sunny days, both in the ordinary sense and in the spiritual sense, are good and should be enjoyed fully and without guilt. If for some reason you are someone who feels for the struggles of others in an acute way, remind yourself you are still allowed to know joy and laughter. Don’t get addicted to sorrow and sadness. When happiness from God knocks at the door, don’t push it down. Allow it in. Let it run riot in every room and rush after it and play with it in the sun.
At times our “meanwhile” will be “Out of the depths I call to Thee…” at other times it will be, “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.” It is the same for others. Live your “meanwhile” well, and help others to live theirs too as you have the opportunity. Remember though, you are not their Saviour and they are not yours.
Yes indeed it is a mean while .
This is recognised through suffering but we are not complacent.
We give thanks and our mean whiles become less mean and more meaningful.
God love endures all things .
How His heart breaks for our little while.
Sometimes, as you describe, there are times when the suffering in our world seems overwhelmingly urgent to pray about, leading to powerful intercession.
The burden of sensing suffering is one that you have perhaps learned is not really ours except to share at appropriate times, for it is the pain of our Lord interceding for none to be lost, and for all of us.
Part of sharing His suffering is to feel the pain of our fellow creatures and our planet groaning under oppression till the Kingdom is fully established and all tears are wiped away.
Praise God, He knows when we are ready to receive strength from Him, for His eyes roam throughout the earth, seeking those whose hearts are fully committed to Him, in order to strengthen them.
My prayer is that all those who think they are committed will be ready and open to receive.
An excellent post. It can be so easy to feel guilty like that. Thanks.
Saw a kingfisher by the canal today…what a brilliant sight.Yes it is so imporant that we remain surprised by these reminders of God’s wonders.
This brought me joy! A Kingfisher is my favourite bird!
Walking with my (almost) 2yr old grandson I was reminded to stop, look, listen, wonder and wallow at all the simple things that have been given to us to enjoy….even in the midst of all the stuff hanging over us. Thanks Kenny, great blogs