DayBreaks for 11/15/19: Hidden Blessings
From the DayBreaks archive, November 2009:
Franklin and Phileda Nelson went to Burma as missionaries in the 1940s. They served there eight and a half years before the government closed the country to further missionary work. They returned to the United States where Franklin served several churches in various pastoral roles.
While in Burma they worked among remote tribes, and Franklin found his sense of gratitude for God’s providence rekindled. When reflecting on his missions work, he said: “In the Burmese hill country, the only way to get to remote villages was by “shank mare.” (That’s walking, in case you’ve never heard the phrase.) It was not at all uncommon for me to walk twenty miles a day in the dry season. When I got back to the States and worked as a pastor and church leader, I rarely walked a mile a day; the telephone and car made walking unnecessary.
“In Burma, if one of us got sick, the nearest hospital was ten days away. In the States, medical care is minutes away. In Burma, we’d go months without bread. Once we asked our daughter Karen to say grace before a meal, and she said, “Why do I have to pray for my daily bread when I don’t ever get any?” I have often coveted that experience for our youngest daughter who never had to wonder where her food came from. It’s hard to have that sense of helplessness and humility so vital to prayer when you sit down to your daily bread and don’t even think about how you got it.
“I don’t in any way blame people here for not knowing what God can do. We’re victims of our prosperity. But I sometimes wish we had a few more hard times so people could experience firsthand how wonderful it is to be totally dependent on God.”
Those last six words haunt me. I know that I should trust God completely. I know intellectually that I am totally dependent on God. But I don’t live as if it’s true. The very statement “…how wonderful it is to be totally dependent on God” – how does that make you feel?
Our feelings, of course, change nothing in regard to the veracity of the statement. We are – like it or not – totally dependent on Him. TOTALLY. Might we not be far better off if we just simply acknowledge that and live in that knowledge constantly? Our strivings would cease, our worry lines would diminish, and we would find some of the blessings that Franklin and Phileda found in their hardships – a greater trust in Him in all things.
PRAYER: Help us to not thank you only for the good, but to search for the hidden blessings in suffering and hardship. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>