Running Ahead!

November 2, 2001
by Rod Marshall

1 Chronicles 4:10-11 – Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request. (NIV)

I have always been careful to be honest with my eldest daughter and she respects this bond of trust we have, even when the answers are not what she may desire.

Lately, she is growing in leaps and bounds, even to the extent that I wonder when she will pass me by. She sees things so clearly and with such enthusiasm, even if it be with the eyes of youth, so it seems that she, without my baggage, will surpass me. I continue to struggle on behind her, carrying my baggage of life, like a porter at a railway station overloaded and sweating with each step. She, on the other hand, drops everything, to be in the loving arms of Jesus; long may it be so.

Recently she brought to me a book about the above passage. She wanted to ask me what I thought. Much seems to have been made of the passage and how God has answered the pray-er's plea for ministry and help. It concerned me a little, however, that whilst I carry my baggage, my daughter might infer from this book that just because she has prayed for something it would happen without any question. What worried me even more was the idea portrayed that when I get to heaven there would be a box with my name on it with all my unasked-for gifts stored away and unused. I asked the question, "Have I missed out?"

In my understanding, God is not like that. I believe that what I need, he gives, willingly, and even with some prompting, until I get the hang of asking for the right thing. God wants the best for us and will train us for the best — always, no matter what becomes of us — because he loves his creation and is faithful and just.

Luke 6:20-22 – Looking at his disciples, [Jesus] said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man." (NIV)

Matthew 25:21 – His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, you will not spurn, belittle or discard our love, even as puny as it is, and for your grace we praise you. Lord, show us your way today so that we can walk in it and be pleasing children of God before you. We rejoice that you first loved us enough to die for us to set us free from all that is not of you. Lord, we praise and worship your holy name, because you have allowed and enabled us to do just that. Amen.

About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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