An extract from a booklet of Inspirations by my wife Daphne
“One morning, when we awoke, it was raining steadily, but we decided to put on some clothes that were due for washing, shower jackets and take an umbrella and go for a walk in the rain anyway.
Living in a semi rural area, the footpaths are mainly loose metal and the gutters just drainage ditches alongside the edge of the road.
At the top of the drive where it meets the road, there is a concrete pipe to keep the water flowing but the loose metal had blocked the pipe causing water to build up.
My husband, Malcolm, reached down with his bare hands and scrapped out the stuff causing the blockage and the water quickly began flowing again.
Further down the road, by the local primary school, the footpaths and gutters have been concreted and proper storm water drains installed. This too was blocked by pine needles from trees across the road and the water had begun to pool out onto the road.
We had just passed this when I called Malcolm back, suggesting we unblock it. I had thought of clearing it with my hands and while Malcolm was looking around for a stick or branch off one of the nearby trees, I suggested flicking it out with the end of the umbrella. This was quickly done and within a few moments the water was flowing and it had drained away.
On the way home we talked about the drains. What was God saying in this? Was He saying anything?
It came to us that He was saying ‘just use what is in your hands’ . So often we come across situations and we look in all directions for something or someone else, maybe more qualified, but God has given us tools and keys that we don’t even think to use.
In Exodus 4: 1-2 God said to Moses “ What is that in your hand ?” (A Staff and a sign for Moses)
We felt God was saying we are (all) to be unblockers of drains…blockages in people’s lives and just to use the tools He has already placed in our hands….no matter how simple and practical they are.”
In Luke 4:18 Jesus declared “ The Spirit of the Lord is on me because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed and to proclaim the year of the Lords favor. “
As believers in Jesus are we not as his disciples also called to do these things in His name?
In John 14:12 Jesus says “Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing and will do even greater things than these”
During our journey through life, we will at some time come across someone who needs to hear the message of God’s love and salvation, people who are prisoners of violence, addictions, etc, people who are not just physically blind but spiritually blind and need to hear the truth, and the list goes on. We are the hands, feet and mouth piece for Jesus in these times of ‘the Lord’s favour’. We just need to do what He calls us to do at the time and use whatever gifts we have. Maybe it’s just a listening ear, an arm of compassion around someone struggling, a simple word of encouragement like ‘Jesus loves and cares for you’ or a meal provided in times of need. Just do what you can with what you have and let God manage the rest of it.
I have a testimony of a possible missed opportunity to share the Gospel on a church plant mission trip some years back to Rambi (Rabi) Island (Off the top of Fiji). We were going house to house through several villages to invite people to a gospel meeting. The inhabitants were very shy and often did not show themselves and hid in their houses, so we spoke to the pig tied to the nearest tree and offered the invite. (Talk about feeling an idiot talking to a pig but that is what we were told to do) Obviously the people were listening because later in the dark they hesitantly turned up to the meeting and we could see the whites of their eyes and white teeth illuminated in the surrounding bushes by the light of the hurricane lamp before they hesitantly crept closer to the meeting place. ( four coconut palms with a bit of corrugated iron tied between them as a shelter) . However, at one house stood in his doorway a HUGE man just wearing his traditional Lavalava skirt. Bare chested, feet spread apart. Hands on hips, no teeth, traditional tattoos and terrifying…I mean really terrifying . I know in 1 Samuel 16:7 it says The Lord does not look at things man looks at. ‘Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.’ And in Deuteronomy 31:6 it tells us to be Strong and Courageous. Not to be terrified or afraid because the Lord will go with us .". There are also scriptures about being wise and discerning. Well I never got beyond the appearance bit and chose the wisdom and discerning bit, so in my wisdom I boldly and courageously discerned and said to Phoebe our Fijian/Indian translator, if required, that we would skip this house and move onto the next. I know many missionaries have laid down their lives doing the Lord’s work but being torn limb from limb just did not appeal to me that particular day. However, little Phoebe insisted we go and see him, so ‘bravely’ we tucked in’ behind her’ and approached the man ready to run at a moment’s notice. Phoebe explained that we had come to tell him about Jesus. The GIANT then gently said “This is our time” and invited the team into his home and that morning the gentle giant and his whole family committed their lives to Jesus.
Was I glad…for the man and his family I was but I certainly felt humbles and disappointed that I had let the Lord down. Where was my boldness and courage? It could have been a lost opportunity but for the courage of Phoebe, but the Lord gently encouraged me that like David and Goliath, He would be with me and go before me. I just needed to trust in Him.
We may often miss opportunities to be a ‘DRAIN UNBLOCKER” in someone’s life but just try again at the next one. God is gracious.
Our songs on You Tube for you today are Arise and be Healed in the name of Jesus sung by John Starnes. Another is I Do Believe (Gaithers).
Remember we all can be set free from doubt, fear, lack of courage etc and be useful to Jesus in His great commission to GO and maybe help unblock some drains in people’s lives.
God Bless you all
Malcolm & Daphne