Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Looking at the front picket fence the other morning I saw that it really was looking a bit tired, a bit worn and in need of repainting. I would not normally tackle this job so early in the season but it was a nice bright day on Wednesday and the plants in the bed just by the fence have mostly died down and those that haven’t I could shield. But, did I have enough paint? There was a tin which I opened last year; maybe there would be enough in that. The difficulty is that the paint manufacturers change the mix each year, just slightly but it is impossible to get an exact match. Would I need to buy a whole new batch? There was a lot of fence to paint after all. Maybe I should use up what I had and perhaps paint the other side of the fence with a new batch if required. As it is a picket fence there was no chance of using a spray, just a good old fashioned paint brush; that would take a time. Stop prevaricating and just get on with it! First I needed to cut back some of the forsythia that had encroached. Then being the front fence several neighbours stopped for a chat as they passed. The postman congratulated me on a good job but said he hoped the weather held out as rain was promised for later! Thanks, Steve, I really needed to hear that. I just needed to get on with the job.
But then, in the same way, God never promised that following Him was going to be easy. In fact Jesus gave a number of warnings to his disciples of the perils and dangers that they would encounter in serving Him. A look at Matthew 10, where Jesus sends His disciples out alone for the first time will illustrate that discipleship may not appear to be a good career choice at first glance. But yet they went out as instructed and performed miracles in His Name. Indeed later the book of the Acts of the Apostles shows just what they were able to achieve, apparently on their own. But of course it is only because the Holy Spirit was with them that they, mere men, were able to do anything at all. And that is the vital, all important point:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20 (KJV)
He is with us, always, even unto the end of the world! Thanks be to God!
I am an Authorised Local Preacher in an Anglo Catholic parish church, in the Diocese of Essex UK