God help US
Most everyone I know is having some sort of trouble during this prolonged time of economic stress. Slow-downs, lay-offs, and no pay raises seem to be the normal practice of most employers. No intention of blame or misconduct from me as I know employers have to shell out more and more money just to have employees, but that’s another subject altogether. The price of everything is going up with little to no increase in income. It doesn’t take a PhD to see what the future holds. The buying power of the dollar is shrinking and people of low or fixed income are slipping into poverty at an alarming rate. Well, to cut to the chase, it’s time for each and every one of us to step up to the plate and pinch-hit for someone else. I was able to knock one out of the ball-park for someone this past week and I have to admit it felt good.
I hadn’t worked on someone else’s car in a long time, but for a friend and brother in Christ, I couldn’t refuse. The problem with the car’s engine was easy to troubleshoot and rather inexpensive compared to most repairs these days, but very time-consuming to repair. All said and done, the car still isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot more reliable and will definitely burn less gas per mile than before the fix.
In the back of my mind, I shuddered when I said I would look at his car. I couldn’t see where the time would come from to help him out, but lo and behold, my great God was there to help all the way.
You know I love the Sunday comics. I find so much truth in them. They’re about the only section of the paper I tend to fully believe. A couple of weeks back, I loved the strip, “Prickly City” by Scott Stantis, which features a girl named Carmen and a dog named Winslow. They live in the desert and most of the scenes consist of nothing but rocks and sand and sometimes nothingness. Carmen has wild mood swings and Winslow seems to always be wanting to help Carmen feel better about herself -- that is, when he’s not seeking God in some way.
This particular strip illustrated that helping hand I was talking about and how good it makes the recipient feel, which a lot of us may not realize, and it may be the only payment we receive for our help.
With a deeply depressed look, Carmen says, “I feel small; The world is in a tumble; Everything is in a flux; Nothing is certain; It makes me rudderless and diminished.” Winslow pops in and says, with a big grin, “I’ll let you get on my shoulders, Carmen. Then I can carry you for a piece.” Atop Winslow’s shoulders, a smiling Carmen says, “I feel big!”
(Job 5: 8-27) Three friends sat with Job sharing in his suffering for seven days and nights without saying a word (Job 2:11-13). Job speaks a very depressed lament (Chapter 3), to which one of his friends, Eliphaz, replies (Chapters 4-5). Just touching the surface of the scripture’s meaning, look at Eliphaz’s advice to Job concerning his situation.
“But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted (Job 5:8-9).
Americans are crying out for relief. I applaud Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his call for a day of fasting and prayer to the God of this great nation this Aug. 6.
Sean Faircloth, executive director of The Secular Coalition of America said, “The last thing our officials should do in times of national struggle is promote a divisive religious event that proposes no real solutions to our country’s real-world problems.”
Asking God to lift US up is the first thing we should do! Let’s get on God’s shoulders.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. This column will be available in the Wilson County News when space is available. Readers can also find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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