For Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch 23 June 2019
“No trial has overtaken you except what is common to man” (1 Corinthians 10:13) The verse popped into my head this week while I was laid prostrate with manflu. You know, what a woman would call a common cold. Our Cedar Creek property is surrounded by rainforest, so there’s always something flowering to trigger hay fever, and this week it progressed to a cold. St Paul continues, “ … God is faithful; he will not let you be tested beyond what you can bear. But when you are tested he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” My way out which God provided took the form of nurse Leisa, letting the chooks out in the morning before she left for work, so that I could stay in bed, and plying me with hot whisky, lemon and honey toddy (great manflu cure - should be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme - ask me for the recipe) in the evening. A surefire way of getting to sleep, even with a blocked nose. The hot toddy helps you breathe through your ears 🥃 👂
OK, this is a silly, trivial example of a trial. Some of you are experiencing serious illness, troubling family issues, crises of faith, seemingly-never-going-away grief after bereavement. But there are a couple of lessons to be had from that 1 Corinthians passage and my manflu. One is that the way out which God provides often comes in the form of a God-sent person, it might be a loved one, or a hospital chaplain, or just a friend with a shoulder perfectly shaped to cry on. Professionals, whether they’re clinicians or social workers or church workers, do their essential professional stuff and we praise God for them and their skills, but escaping from the spiritual and emotional hole which accompanies severe trials may require a touch of love as well as a dose of medicine. And the second lesson is that the way out which God provides so that a trial can be endured, might be you. Just think - whom do you know who could do with a love boost to their endurance?
Here I am, Lord. Send me.