A Word for 2017

By Val Waldeck
Pastoral Assistant

Near the end of the Civil War, as General Sherman marched to the sea, his army destroyed anything in its path that could be used by the South.

Outside of Atlanta stood an elegant old southern mansion. Its owner was an old Grandmother of the South. She had supported the South with her wealth and in those last days, all she had was her home and an old horse. As Sherman’s armies marched by, the horse was shot and died in the field near the entrance to her home. She was very upset. She went to her neighbours… she went to the mayor… she went to the Church… she told everyone how the Yankees had shot her poor old horse. The war soon ended, but not her anger. If she was around, sooner or later you would hear the story of how the North had done her wrong and killed her gallant steed.

One day she heard that General Robert E. Lee, the great leader of the Southern army, was passing her farm. She ran to the gate and waited for him. As he passed by, she rushed out into the road and stopped him. She began to tell her story of how the Northern army had destroyed the most valuable possession she had.

“Do you see that?” she cried out as she pointed to the decaying hulk of the dead horse.

“Yes, Madam, I do,” said the General. “It’s a dead horse. My advice to you is to bury it and get on with your life.”

Do you and I have any dead horses in our lives? The best thing we can do in this New Year is deal with them and move on. Life is far too short to go around dragging dead horses.

We may not forget, but we can choose not to remember. That’s what the Lord did for us. He said: “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake;  And I will not remember your sins.” — Isaiah 43:25.

Human beings have a strange habit of overlooking faults in their own children or family, while vociferously condemning those same faults in others. We tend to protect those we love, trying our best to justify their behaviour and make allowances for them. That is a “family” thing generally.

The Family of God should get the same protection. If we destroy each other with our words and judgmental attitude, we do great disservice to the Body of Christ and end up destroying our testimony and ourselves. “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” – Galatians 5:15.

God calls for us to be humble in our dealings with others, gentle and patient, making allow-ances for one another in love. “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” – James 1:20.

Anger never displays the character and nature of Christ.  May Ephesians 4:2 be the hallmark of our lives this year, both inside the Church, and outside: “…with all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love.”

Let’s bury our dead horses once and for all.

Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to minister to you while Mark was recuperating. It’s such a joy to have him back in the saddle again. Continue to give him your full support this year as he works to grow the Church in the Grace and Knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The Lord bless you in 2017… BIG-TIME!

Val

 


Filed under: From the Pastor's Desk

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