10th August 2015
Recently I was reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians and in particular Chapter 4:8 “Finally brothers whatsoever is true what ever honourable, whatever just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
The night before last we heard in the early hours of the morning the horrendous sound of a howling, powerful wind which was causing insurmountable damage to properties around us. I fully expected to see all kinds of damage to my own property when I woke the following morning. In particular a fence between my house and my neighbour which I am responsible for (I rent the property). I almost didn’t dare to look out of my bedroom window early next morning when although still blowing strongly but not at gale strength I was relieved to find the fence still upstanding.
An hour later my neighbour knocked on our front door explaining that her other neighbours fence had blown down and a large tree in her own garden was uprooted and now leaning on the bottom of my fence. They had contacted the Housing Association from whom they rented and presented the problem to them. They were coming to look at the damage later.
Proceeding down the garden shortly after I discovered that my large tree , (approx. 4ft across) was now being pushed by the other tree onto my shed. I actually could see the amazing movement of this huge tree swaying from its base at ground level and felt the awesome power of the movement.
Yes I knew something has to be done to improve the situation but as I reflected upon Philippians 4:8; I had indeed something worthy of praise to thank God for and to “think upon” What was that You ask? As I thought about it I saw that the neighbours tree pushing against my fence was actually strengthening it and preventing it from blowing down as if a mighty hand was holding it in position. Indeed it was if we believe in the sovereignty of God in all things.
I know things do not always work out like this for any of us but I am simply emphasising the kind of thing we can rejoice and praise God for rather than take things for granted which usually mean we say things like “How lucky I was and pity about the neighbours fence.”
There is always something we can be thankful to God for and offer praise isn’t there? Not forgetting to pray for our neighbour of course.
Dear loving heavenly Father, How wonderful to know that our times are in your hands and that you have amazing resources including knowing us all so intimately that You know our needs before they even arise. From eternity to eternity you know all things. How safe it is for us to trust you and give ourselves fully over to you and praise you for what is past and trust you for what is to come. Forgive our doubts and please calm us down when extremities come upon us. You are fully aware of what is going on in your world. “You see everything nothing is hidden from your eyes”
Hebrews 4:13 – Lord, we feel so helpless at times, so it is comforting for us to know these things and share them with you in prayer for You understand us completely. Amen.