“Fret Not Thyself”
I was in business in the retail trade. One Saturday, in conversation with a fellow-trader, he told me of a pair of shops being built in a neighbouring village; that he was going to take one of them, and suggested that the other one would be very suitable for the trade in which I was engaged. I was very interested, being young and desiring to prosper in business, and the opportunity was very suitable to my thoughts and ambitions, so he gave me the telephone number to contact for particulars of the property.
However, the Lord God had not long before laid upon my heart the exercise of the ministry, and as I walked home thinking about this unexpected development, I thought to myself: “I will wait until Monday before I telephone, and tomorrow see if our pastor says anything about it in his sermons.” In like manner as the Shunammite woman did with her son who had died, I laid my case on the bed of the man of God.
Our pastor knew nothing of the circumstances of the Saturday, or of my exercise, and yet if he had known all about them, he could not have described them better. I do not remember his text, but in his sermon he said that there may be a person in the congregation who has had an earthly prospect put before him which is very pleasing to his earthly ambitions and looks to be most suitable and lawful; and then said: “If you have an exercise from the Lord, you will not do it.” Who could have directed the minister to say those things, but God? There was no more thought of making the phone call on the Monday.
“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” Or as is written in the hymn: “Take it to the Lord in prayer.” May you, by God’s grace, be enabled to live as the Apostle Paul exhorts in Philippians 4:6, and you will have much cause for thanksgiving.
At another time, as I sat in my office discussing business with a wholesaler’s agent, he suggested to me that there was an opening for my trade in a certain place in a nearby town, and asked me to consider it. I replied that I did not have the finance. He answered: “You have the expertise, and I can supply the money.” Immediately the Scripture came: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” And so I was again “kept by the power of God” and declined the offer.
Again, in an entirely different way and in different circumstances, I was kept from harbouring for long a rebellious spirit. One day, going to the nearby town in the firm’s delivery van, which was the only vehicle I had, I saw two of my fellow-traders driving their Jaguar cars. Oh, how a spirit of envy rose up in my heart and remained all day, until “I went into the House of the LORD.” There was an evening service that night and our pastor spoke from: “Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” It was as an arrow striking my conscience, and I went home in a very different spirit to the one in which I entered the chapel, thankful for a hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ. This was not the first time in my life when I could say: “They can have the world, I have my God.”
It was later found that one man I was envying as he apparently prospered, was falsifying his Value Added Tax returns, and when it was discovered by the authorities, his Jaguar car had to be sold, also the large house which he had with a swimming pool in the grounds; after that I would see him driving a Mini, and his home was not as nice as my own. How thankful I have been to the Lord for the teaching I have received through these providential experiences.
If you are one of God’s chosen people, you will not be able to separate providence and grace, but will find that the Lord will sanctify the path of providence to the eternal good of your never-dying soul.
Taken with permission from The Friendly Companion, May 2006; editor G.D.Buss, Chippenham
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