For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. (Psalm 84:11)
‘That’s not fair!’. How many times do you remember thinking that or saying that as a child, or an adult for that matter?
One of my earliest memories of this must be when I was about three years old. In our home, we had the old style electric sockets with no ‘on/off switch’; there were no plastic plug-in covers either to prevent children from sticking their fingers into a live socket. I was told categorically, NOT to put my fingers in the socket. I can’t tell you how tempting that socket was to me. I so much wanted to force the forbidden fingers into the socket but thankfully refrained from doing so.
Around the same age, my parents thought it wise to make our back garden ‘child-safe’. This meant putting a makeshift wooden barrier across the driveway so that I couldn’t escape down the driveway on to the road. I remember looking over that barrier to banned territories. This just wasn’t fair!!
As a three year old, I couldn’t understand why such prohibitions were being placed on me. While my parents were trying to protect me from serious harm, and even save my life, I felt as though I was being deprived of things that could be a source of enjoyment.
As Christians, we have all faced times when God has spoken to us and let us know that, in order to move forward with Him, there has to be sacrifice. In many cases, our ‘darling sins’, as Spurgeon calls them, have had to go. Spurgeon also said; ‘Do what the Lord bids you, where he bids you, as he bids you, as long as he bids you, and do it at once.’ How often have we said, or at least thought, ‘that’s not fair? However, like our wise parents, an even wiser God is in control this time. Many years ago, I was telling my pastor, Mary Black, about an area in my life where I felt the death knell of God was sounding. I have never forgotten Mary’s words to me. She said, ‘It’s at times like this that you have got to believe in the resurrection’. I had to believe that, after I had surrendered that ‘darling sin’, there would be new life, abundant life; and I wasn’t disappointed!
In very hot climates, there are streams or gullies called ‘wadis’. These wadis only contain water in the rainy season; they dry up in the heat. We, too, can be like wadis. When God speaks to us and lets us know that there is something He wants to remove from our lives, or something he is telling us not to do, if we disobey, we become dry and barren. Our joy disappears and is replaced by frustration, anger, resentment or bitterness. It’s at this point we need to do what I did when I was three years old. We simply have to trust that our Heavenly Father has our best interest at heart; and we need to obey Him.
I am reminded of the words of a hymn:
But we never can prove
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favour He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
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Struthers Memorial Church is a registered Scottish Charity No. SC 006960 | Struthers Memorial Church is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in Scotland Company No SC335480 | Registered Office: 33 West Stewart Street, Greenock, PA15 1SH.