‘Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided (Genesis 22:13, 14).”
I’ve been struggling for the past couple of days trying to work out what I should write for this blog. Perhaps my quandary has come about because I’ve been preoccupied doing the daily chores (cf. Luke 10:38-41) and because of having to sort out a few unexpected problems that have come my way.
Some days there are things that have to be addressed without delay, because if they aren’t, they can have ramifications which bring problems requiring more attention and possibly the expenditure of money as well as energy. This morning, for example, I was in the middle of having a shower, when, without warning, the electric pump that pressurises the water stopped. This left me standing under a trickle of cold water with which to rinse off the remaining soapsuds.
I could easily cope with this, and in fact I could manage without ever taking a shower. However, my wife loves having them, and it’s very convenient for her, especially when it comes to shampooing her hair. Like me, she could manage without showering, but as I am her husband and the one who loves her, I found myself with the task of getting the shower sorted.
Fortunately by repeatedly turning the shower handle on and off, and at the same time submersing the flexible shower head into water, I managed to get it working. Needless to say, this was not done without a prayer beforehand and the giving of thanks afterwards, but I can only guess as to when the pump will fail again.
Yes, I appreciate my good fortunate in having a bathroom that is equipped with a shower and a bidet, and I’m always appreciative of God who feeds me and my wife and who gives us a roof over our heads. He provides us with all we need (Genesis 22:13, 14; Matthew 6:33).
The evil one is at work
Despite God’s wonderful provision and loving care, I sometimes ‘feel’ as if I’m of little use to anyone, but I am also aware that such thoughts come from the devil. He is always out to deceive (Revelation 12:9) and to bring people down. He tries to make them dwell on their feelings and failings, rather than on the grace (Ephesians 2:8) and love of Jesus (1 John 4:19). He always wants to dishearten us – especially Christians, and he does all he can to make us depressed.
If we take our eyes off Jesus (Matthew 14:28-30), we can easily get bogged down with worldly thoughts and worldly ways.
We hear the news on radio and we see it on TV, and the great majority of it is soul-destroying. Sometimes even the good stories are sad, such as those of children who have had to suffer greatly on account of health issues, but with fortitude they overcame their life-threatening illnesses. Even if they didn’t survive, before dying they profited others by raising funds for health charities, and after death by allowing their organs to be donated to children who would not otherwise survive.
Pervasive Covid 19 Situation
So this pervasive, almost overwhelming situation continues, and we can’t ignore the daily death toll on account of Covid 19. We can’t escape the demands that are placed upon us. We must wear face masks in public places, and we must keep to social distancing. We must adhere to restrictions wherever we go – that’s if we have the confidence to leave our homes, and this fear of contracting the virus is justifiably real for elderly folk who are more likely to die as a result.
A lot has changed, and the future will never be the same. The ‘new normal’ will inevitably be different. We pray for an effective vaccine that will help make the future approximate more to the past; and as we pray, we try to cast aside the frustrating news that the Russians may have hacked into the IT systems of UK pharmaceutical researchers to steal information for producing a vaccine. We desperately need a vaccine, but we want it to be done ethically and well, for the good of ALL people throughout the world – and not for monetary gain. This is an emergency that goes beyond money-making and international politics.
Hope for Tomorrow
‘See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15, 16).’
These times of unrest, inequity and division are extremely unsettling. To make matters worse, political and ideological forces are at work. There are fundamental differences between the major nations of the world. Each has its own agenda. Even the EU is in disarray, since it is divided on policies and the forthcoming budget. The UK will leave the EU on 31st January 2021, and there will be the imposition of trading tariffs, border controls, and a points-based immigration system. On top of all of this we are experiencing major economic gloom on account of a recession that will perhaps be greater than any that has been in the past.
Yes, I’m a Christian, but like all lovers and followers of Jesus, we have to live in the world, while not being worldly (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). Our focus must always be on Jesus; for He is our all (Colossians 3:11). We live in Him and for Him. He is our life (Philippians 1:21), and there is no other. We must shine His light for the world see. We must look to Him for strength, patience and grace to do His will. We must be united with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and as soon as we have opportunity to meet together for praising and worshipping our God, we must do it – even if we have to wear face masks and we are not permitted to sing.
The virus cannot stop us loving Jesus and one another, and for us there is always a sure *hope for tomorrow.
Jesus said, “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this (John 11:25, 26)?”