2 August 2022 By Reverend Paul N. Papas II
Everyday you are Blessed with another day above the grass is another opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade.
Medical missionary Bruce Olson was captured by Columbian communists in October 1988. He was beaten and kept bound most of the time. The soldiers were waiting for a ransom, but the mission wouldn’t pay. Olson endured pain by concentrating on the spirit and doing God’s will in his current situation. He was tortured but able to influence the guerrillas by teaching and healing them.
After a while they even let him conduct worship services. They couldn’t understand how he could pay back evil with good. Olson was able to lead some of them to the Lord. While very ill a bird sang outside, reminding him of how the Motilone Indians sang the Scriptures. When the soldiers could not break him they apologized and released him.
Certainly through Bruce Olson’s ordeal during his time of capture he could have experienced fear, anxiety, depression, or even suicidal thoughts. Perhaps he could have suffered from PTSD. Bruce Olson chose to exhibit Faith as a Mustard Seed (Matthew 17:20) and submit to God and watch the devil fled (James 4: 7-8)
We are on a pilgrimage which is a step-by-step process.
It’s like a hiker on a narrow mountainside trail, unable to see the path ahead. Sometimes the way is clearly marked out before him. At other times, it turns abruptly to the right or left, becomes rugged or muddy, rises or falls sharply. All he knows is that he must take the next step.
But our spiritual walk of faith differs from that of a mountain hiker. Through faith in Christ, we can keep moving forward with full confidence that we will reach our destination.
This anonymous poem describes the walk of faith:
When you come to the edge
Of all light you have known,
And are about to step off into darkness,
Faith is knowing there’ll be something to stand on,
Or you will be taught how to fly.
Perhaps today you are right at the rim of a shadowy unknown. You know you must move forward, but you can’t see 10 feet ahead. God has brought you to this place not to abandon you but to show you–perhaps as never before–that you can trust Him completely.
Go ahead. Prayerfully step into the unknown future. God has promised to be there for you (Heb. 13:5). You can be sure “there’ll be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” –DCE
Faith is not a leap into the dark but a step into the light.
An old lady in England who had stood the bombings with amazing fortitude was asked the secret of her calmness in the midst of such frightful danger. She replied, “Well, every night I says my prayers and then I remembers how the parson told us God is always watching; so I go to sleep. After all, there’s no need for both of us to stay awake!”
William Moses Tidwell, “Pointed Illustrations.”
How many lemons have you come across today? How many lemons have you turned into lemonade today?