Archive for August, 2014

A few means a lot

It’s hard not to rely on numbers. It seems the larger a number, the more significance to it’s worth or importance. Disasters are weighed by the number of deaths.  The greater the capacity of a football stadium, the better the team. The greater the number of people who turn out to vote, must ensure a better elected official. If we throw more and more money at some problem, that problem will surely go away. Attending a church with large numbers must mean it offers a better spiritual experience.strength-of-seeing

Contrary to popular belief, God’s word is repetitive in examples of how wrong we are about large numbers. God demonstrates to us in  various ways, the need for us to rely on His providence rather than our might. When God destroys the world with a flood in Genesis chapter 6-9, only eight souls are saved. God raises up a nation to carry forth His plan through only one man; Abraham.  God saves the world from starvation by one man; Joseph. God destroys the nation of Egypt by two men; Moses and Aaron. Of the entire adult population that left Egypt (perhaps as many as 1 million), only two, Joshua and Caleb, entered the land of promise. Gideon and 300 men defeated the innumerable Midianites.   David and his few men of valor, defeated the Philistines on several occasions. Elijah defeated the entire priesthood of Baal (450). The church was established and the gospel spread throughout the entire world by 12 men. The sins of all men were paid, and the victory over death was accomplished by one man; Christ our Lord.

The clear message from our Creator is simple; we can conquer and accomplish more with far less of us, and far more of Him. Elisha could see the answer to life’s troublesome dilemma; why do I feel outnumbered? Some days it does feel that way, like I’m the only one trying to do what’s right and the masses are more and more becoming corrupt.  It feels as if the entire army of Satan is marching into the city, ready to burn, kill and pillage and many are surrendering instead of holding fast. Elisha’s servant felt this same way in 2 Kings 6:15 when the Syrian army surrounded them.  For the servant and us as well, the numbers didn’t add up. Elisha, however could see, and prayed that God would open his servant’s eyes.2Ki 6:16-7 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Therefore, when we look back through the Bible and see the example of all those faithful men and women who apparently were alone, we begin to realize they weren’t alone, they had God and His innumerable host behind them.  That same army is there behind us.  It’s not the quantity of that which we need, it’s His Supreme quality. Rom 8:31  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Darryl Fuller

Life in the Slow Lane

biker slow

 On the road this morning I met a man riding his bike into Columbiana.  Some of you may have encountered this young man, who bikes everyday from Shelby to Columbiana and vice-versa. He is usually packing what appears to be a guitar strapped across his back, slowly pushing his bike up hills with laborious effort. He minds the right of way, always staying on the proper side of the road, near the shoulder, but his wobbly movement is a bit troubling.  I offered him a ride once, but I think all I did was frighten him, for he kept his head down and made no gesture to stop.  Usually I’m passing him, along with others who have got caught behind and are anxious to move around. Some people are patient and clearly make an effort to give him a wide berth while others are terse and come frightfully close. I so desperately want to advise this fellow how dangerous it is for him to ride on such a busy highway, and warn him of the impatient drivers that he can’t see behind him. Then, this morning, I saw something that changed my mind, or at least got me to not be so anxious for his sake. He was trekking his way into Columbiana with at least 6 cars in tow. He was smiling from ear to ear! He had not a care in the world, and was not concerned that those behind him were being held up or troubled by their impatient countenance. It’s hard not to take in that scene and smile. One man working as hard as he can to get where he wants to go on a bike, in the heat, with a load, smiling; six others, in the ease of their vehicles, seating comfortably in their air cooled compartments, trying to get somewhere important, in a hurry, with frowns and grimaces. Perhaps I’m anxious and concerned for the wrong person(s).  Better to be in danger with a sunny disposition, than in relative safety with a pout. He at least had a helmet on, both feet at work, both hands on the handlebars, concentrated on the task at hand. We may think we’re safer in a car or truck, but we are closer to the yellow line, that invisible barrier that separates us from the other impatient, uptight, frowning motorists.  We don’t wear helmets; we’re distracted by the slow traffic ahead, or the fast talking and texting going on in our head.  His music is tucked away safely, turned off until he gets where he’s going, and then he’ll make his own music and probably enjoy it even more. Our music or talk radio is usually loud and conducive for high blood pressure. He’s at work, going uphill and happy. I’m at ease, going downhill and worried.

As Christians in this world, we should see ourselves as that fellow on the bike, always on the go, never in fear of what is behind us, ever pedaling, striving, pushing to get to our destination. We should take some precautions, like wearing a helmet made to protect our heads (the helmet of salvation!). Above all else, in whatever our circumstance, be happy and smile.  After all, our Father is waiting on us to get home, where we can rest and make beautiful music together with Him, forever!  Deut. 33:29  Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph! Your enemies shall come fawning to you, and you shall tread upon their backs.”

Darryl Fuller