Monthly Message June 2011 Because ……
“Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;
Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. “ Deuteronomy 28:47,48
“Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.” Daniel 6:23
Dear Christian reader, the question is often asked, “Why has this happened to me?” or “Why do miracles occur for others and not for me?”. A good start in attempting to answer these questions is found in examining carefully the above scriptures.
This month I am only going to communicate to you what the Lord has been revealing to me in relation to the above Deuteronomy passage.
During the last few years and currently, the Lord has required of me to complete an extremely tough physical assignment. He has instructed me to plant over 1000 fruit trees, (mostly olive) on my 32 acre block of land in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area in south western New South Wales, Australia. He has required me to plant these trees using pick and shovel only, in all seasons, without any help from any other person. At times, to dig these holes has taken a huge physical toll on myself. Due to the ten year drought the heavy clay based soil has been very difficult to penetrate, and it has been very hard work to plant in the summer months when the temperature is consistently over 40°C. But in December 2009, during a heat wave when the temperature on a bare, open drought affected paddock was in excess of 43°C, the Lord asked me to plant 30 olive trees in two days. I was on my normal fasting schedule at the time-no liquids or food before 1pm (daylight saving time) on the 1st day of planting, and no food or liquids before 7pm on the 2nd day. And of course, the best time (or the only time in summer!) to plant trees is in the morning—just when I wasn’t to partake of liquids!!! Also, I was 59 years old at the time, and am female. But the Lord sustained me mightily, the task was accomplished and those 30 olive trees are the healthiest trees on the farm today.
However, I had NO joy about this or any other tree planting venture. I dreaded the thought of planting the trees and having to face dehydration, flies, mosquitoes, aching muscles, scorching heat, burning wind and having to carry water to the trees as they were planted ( until I could set up the trickle irrigation lines which also always requires that I have to dig trenches with a pick and shovel).
Then on Monday 3rd January 2011, the Lord asked me to plant 90 olive trees in the same paddock. But by Wednesday morning 5th January 2011, I was feeling extremely ill in the intestine area of my body and it became apparent that I was bleeding from the intestines. Over the years and up until this time the Lord had always given me very good health to plant the trees. About 25 years ago I vowed to the Lord that I would never voluntarily go to the doctors. I told the Lord that I was relying totally on His healing of my body if the need should arise. During these 25 years the Lord has healed me miraculously from all sorts of physical problems, so on becoming so ill I immediately asked Him to heal me. I had only planted 30 trees before being taken ill and I wasn’t able to start the planting until the next Monday. I had received some healing-the bleeding had stopped, but I wasn’t quite back to full health when I resumed the planting. I certainly wasn’t at all happy about the planting job, and there was definitely no joy in my heart at the time! Anyway, I had the remaining 60 trees planted by Friday 14th January 2011, and these are shaping up to be very healthy specimens also.
But by early March 2011, the intestinal pain started to attack me again and it was hitting me intermittently throughout March and half way through April, 2011. And then the Lord got through to me the verses under consideration in Deuteronomy 28. He had been presenting the idea of “serving the Lord with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart” since Sunday 2nd January, 2011, but it wasn’t until I let these words sink in (“Let these sayings sink down into your ears” Luke 9:44”) , and I became a doer of these words (c.f. James 1:23), that full health has returned to me. I can assure you that I’ve had to work hard to maintain my joy and to be consistently praising, thanking, worshipping and adoring the Lord, but I can truthfully say that I now have joy present while planting trees and suffering physical stress and strain.
Since this episode, the Lord has used me to deliver the following message to a mature Christian in a nearby town (and perhaps also to you Christian reader). This person is involved in a helps ministry and has been suffering from chronic physical problems and depression for many years. I told this person quite simply: ”These things have come upon you, because you haven’t served the Lord your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart.” !!!!
So Christian reader-in particular mature Christian leader-examine yourself to see if you are maintaining your joyfulness and gladness of heart in serving the Lord your God, because I warn you that He is not pleased with you if aren’t.
“Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen”