(10.04.21– Only The Lonely –Exodus 6: 1-12)
My friend, may I ask you a question? Is it far better to be lonely in conviction than convicted in disobedience?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I'm M. Clifford Brunner.
When I was a boy my brothers and I had the rather thankless job of feeding a herd of our neighbor’s Hereford cattle. The job was in payment of some kindness the man had done our family; so there was no payment for the services rendered. The job was not one of my favorite things to do for a variety of reasons. First, it had to be done first thing upon returning home from school. The barn was not well kept so you always needed to be careful where you stepped. If you happened to step in the wrong place you could end up sinking up to your shins in something that looked like mud but didn’t smell like mud. And there was the hay. How I hated the hay! It came in bales and those cattle ate a bunch of it. First you had to lug it, then snap the twine without cutting yourself, and then force it down the manger chute. All the while the air was filled with tiny bits of chaff that targeted my sinuses like ballistic missiles.
When all was said and done, this was often an unpleasant job. I remember bumping into the farmer one evening as he decided to give us a hand with our chores. After a while he broke the silence with one of those statements that just seem to come out of nowhere. He simply blurted, "Did you ever notice how the good timber always seems to be surrounded by a swamp?" We stared in respect but had no idea what to say. "You know." He continued. "That one tree you really would like to cut down always seems to be more of a chore to get there than to cut down. Swamps! They’re everywhere!" He smiled and didn't say another word. Over time I began to understand what he was trying to get at. If you ever are going to find the good in this life, you have to be ready to deal with the bad. Feeding those cattle was not fun. Yet, it was one more chore in life that built character and gave us skills. It was a sort of a lonely swamp that each of us boys had to pass through if we were going to get to that grown-up side of life waiting temptingly just around the bend.
This is a noble kind of loneliness that God sometimes asks each of us to bear. It's that loneliness that, as Clarence Macartney puts it, "comes in the path of duty and at the price of conviction." When we allow ourselves to descend into the "swamp" in order to follow the path of obedience to our Heavenly Father, we can always expect hardship and per- haps loneliness before we gain the goal of faith we are seeking. When we obey and push ahead, it won't be long before obedience pays off and our sense of loneliness is replaced by a sense of oneness with our Father. "Being willing to cross the swamp to get to the good trees?" Over forty years later that simple riddle now makes sense. It's far better to be lonely in conviction than convicted in disobedience.
We pray. Heavenly Father, Lord, when we allow ourselves to descend into the "swamp" in order to follow the path of obedience to You we can always expect hardship and per- haps loneliness before we gain the goal of faith we are seeking. Help us to endure and be patient. When we obey and push ahead, it won't be long before obedience pays off and our sense of loneliness is replaced by a sense of oneness with You. Forgive us Lord when we are not willing to cross the swamp to get to the good trees. It's far better to be lonely in conviction than convicted in disobedience. Amen. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to ”This Passing Day!”
<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.