The story I mentioned in the article 'In Memory of W.A Peddie'[on Write2shine.com and Let the Healing Begin] was one that he would tell over and over and over again. I was a little embarrassed each time he started telling it because my friends would always tease me about it but 'grandpa' told that story so well and it was so funny when he explained it, I just couldn't help laughing. He brought so much life to that story that I could see myself in that picture. Well, as a teenager it just wasn't funny anymore. It would be time, yet again, for him to deliver another sermon and I would pray "Please Lord, don't let him tell that story again". That was one of my unanswered prayers.
As a child, trials and tribulations wasn't part of my vocabulary and therefore most of the stories told made little or no sense to me, just like the testimonies and songs I used to hear about the valleys and how "God is good". But as I mentioned in the previous article, as an adult, I am comforted by the message that story brings.
I have gone through trying periods and sometimes I do try to carry the load alone instead of taking the help that is offered by my loving saviour. However, when I remember the story, I often smile and take my troubles to the Lord in prayer. For this reason I refer to this story as the 'sermon that saved me'.
It made me realise how important the role of volunteers are in our churches. My grandfather was a deacon and may have had some form of training to go with it, afterall, he did marry a preacher's daughter! But what about others like the Sunday school teachers and youth leaders who give of their time and finances as well to bring the message of love and salvation to the young ones, in ways they can understand? How de-motivated they must feel at times, thinking that they labour in vain, when they see so many of the children they teach grow up and leave the church.
Being a youth is probably the most difficult time in the growth of a child. There's teenage pressure; the urgency to grow up, or the fear of entering into adulthood. There's also the issue of some not wanting to leave their childhood behind. All this spells confusion and frustration. Because of this frustration a teenager, though listening, may not always apply to their lives what they learn today. But one thing is for sure, they are watching and possibly imitating you. So don't give up! There is a child like me in your group who will keep hold of those lessons and the message within will one day bring them back to the fold, should they ever stray.
There was a vital lesson for me to learn from that one story that grandpa so often repeated and though I didn't apply it to my life there and then, it didn't go to waste. As an adult I am now benefiting from that story and my message to volunteers would be:
1. If you are one of those dejected leaders who may think that you are labouring in vain - keep sowing the seed of love and not just tell them about it but be an example for them to follow and leave the rest to God and His timing.
2. If you are carrying the weight on your shoulder today, may I encourage you as my grandfather did through that story:"take the load off your head and place it at the foot of the cross, He's waiting with open arms to comfort you and help you to see your way clear again. You cannot do it on your own, no matter how hard you try". Let it go and let God take care of it.
When my daughter was in her teens, she told me one day, "that although it may not seem like it, I really am listening to everything you're saying ..." - that was enough for me to keep at it and live my life of faith in and love for my Savior because if she is listening I wanted only the Lord's Words of Life and Truth coming out of my mouth.
Train up a child in the way he should go,Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Our labor in the Lord will reap benefits we may never realize on this earth. As I read this I was thinking of the latest post by Larry Lilly about the man who was dejected because he had only won a simple carpenter to the Lord. If you get a chance, go there and read it. God bless.