“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.” 1 Corinthians 5:16-22
I stepped into my Master Bathroom this morning and grabbed the laundry basket and took twenty eight steps to the laundry room and put the dirty clothes in the washing machine and dropped in a pod of soap and pushed a button and the washing process began. Would you please, just for a moment consider the people in the attached photo. They either walked several miles to reach this point in the river cause the depth is not too deep or too shallow and there are plenty of rocks and bushes on which to spread their clothes for drying. And this is a river crossing; the mission team is driving through this clothes washing machine. Next time you hear somebody grumble about ‘having’ to do the laundry show them this photo. Next time you can’t find anything to eat that will satisfy your appetite take a look at a child with a plate of beans and rice; their meal for the day. We really do need to stop and give thanks more often about where we are, what we have, where we came from and Who watches over us daily. I am closing today with the words from the hymn ‘We thank Thee, Jesus, dearest Friend’ that were written by an unknown soul in 1607 and later translated by Matthias Loy in 1880.
“We thank Thee, Jesus; dearest Friend, that Thou didst into heaven ascend. O blessed Savior, bid us live and strength to soul and body give. Hallelujah! Ascended to His throne on high, hid from our sight, yet always nigh; He rules and reigns at God's right hand and has all power at His command. Hallelujah! The man who trusts in Him is blest and finds in Him eternal rest; this world's allurements we despise and fix on Christ alone our eyes. Hallelujah! We therefore heartily rejoice and sing His praise with cheerful voice; He captive led captivity, from bitter death He set us free. Hallelujah! Through Him we heirs of heaven are made; O Brother, Christ, extend Thine aid that we may firmly trust in Thee and through Thee live eternally. Hallelujah!”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay