August 2, 2019 Brethren Letter
I’ll begin tonight’s letter with a story used in a recent sermon. Several years ago I read this story for the first time and have always found it to be quite inspiring. Sometimes when things seem impossible, the outcome can be quite different. This short story was written in A Daily Dose of the American Dream, by Alan C. Elliott.
The story of Helen Keller is well known. She was born a normal baby but as a young child was stricken with a disease that left her blind and deaf. Her parents were unable to communicate with her or control her, and Helen grew up like an animal. In desperation, the family called for help, which arrived in the form of Anne Sullivan. Anne had the understanding and love to bring Helen “back into the real world.” How was it that she could perform such a miracle, when Helen’s parents and countless doctors had failed to make any progress? Where did Anne find such love and patience?
It all began at a mental institution in Boston, Massachusetts, where a young girl who exhibited violent behavior and was thought to be hopelessly insane, had been consigned by doctors to a “living death” in a cage in the facility’s basement. One elderly nurse, however, felt affection for the girl. She began to eat her lunch outside the youngster’s cage and sometimes left brownies within her reach. The girl seemed to ignore the brownies, but they would disappear as soon as the nurse left. Gradually, the little girl in the cage began to respond to the nurse’s love. She began to talk, became less violent, and started responding to other treatments. As her condition improved, the girl was removed from her cage and allowed to meet other patients, and quickly became a valued helper in the institution. She eventually was released from the facility and went on to lead a very productive life. That girl was Anne Sullivan.
Most people have not had experiences like Anne Sullivan, but ALL of us in the Church of God have had experiences that can seem like a real climb up “Mount Everest.” We know we can get to the top, but it sure may seem difficult.
Brethren, as an elder, I know some of the trials you have experienced because you’ve told me. But, I also know what the scriptures reveal. “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.’” (Mark 10:27). No matter how hard the climb seems to be up the proverbial “mountain,” with God ALL things are possible! This we must never forget.
Here are a few paragraphs from the magazine The Good News of Tomorrow’s World, (May, 1971), as written in the “Personal,” by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. The subject is, “Let God Fight your Battles.”
THE WORLD you live in today is a very troubled world. You not only have your own personal problems, but you also suffer from the opposition and antagonism of the world around you.
It is time you considered how to conquer these troubles — how to be free from them — how to let GOD fight your battles instead!
First, understand this: If the world today is not happy — if world conditions are in a chaotic state — if lives are empty and purposeless — if minds are filled with fears and worries, bodies wracked with sickness and disease — THERE IS A REASON!
Conditions are what we make them!
Mortal humans, groping in the darkness of confusion, have made conditions what they are. Humanity is reaping what it has sown! Only the direct and all-powerful supernatural intervention of Almighty God can deliver this world from all its troubles. What the world doesn’t know is that God will not cause its present ways of wrong living to bring any HUMAN Utopia. Rather, God Almighty will soon have to step in and RULE over the world — bringing it into the ways of His just laws, which alone can produce this happy tomorrow!
We, too, have lessons to learn. Even though stubborn and rebellious mankind brings upon the world even darker days in the immediate future, remember — it’s darkest just before dawn. Take hope in the sure knowledge that the new world of God’s making — and ruling — is very near today!
But in the meantime, what about YOU, and your own private life and problems? Let us consider some of your own private, personal troubles. I know that you have them! And I want to tell you something — I want to tell you good news. You are carrying a lot of worries, fears, and troubles THAT YOU DON’T NEED TO CARRY!
Life is simply filled with private, personal battles. We have to battle fears and worries. Sometimes it seems we have to battle PEOPLE who APPEAR to be enemies, and whether you realize it or not, YOU also have to battle YOURSELF! …
Do you realize the Jesus Christ, the living resurrected Christ, to whom is given ALL POWER, has a present mission to perform? Do realize that His present mission is to FIGHT YOUR BATTLES FOR YOU — to deliver you — to free you from all your fears, your troubles, and even the circumstances that beset you?
Now think this over carefully, and answer this! Why do you fight your own battles, when He — the living Savior — is living in all power to fight them for you?
God does not want us to FAIL! He called you and me to be part of His FAMILY for all eternity, and to eventually teach others in the WORLD TOMORROW! Christ, our LIVING HEAD, will fight our battles, if we will look to Him.
It’s interesting; Ann Sullivan faced what some would consider insurmountable odds. HUMANLY, she made tremendous accomplishments, and later she even taught a young lady that no one else could reach. Spiritually, WE DO NOT face insurmountable odds! Being human as we are, we may think we do from time to time. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35-37). We in the Church of God have a future ahead that far surpasses anything dreamt by men.
Humanity (as a whole), lives contrary to God’s way of life. No doubt some of the difficult trials we experience now will help us better assist as teachers in the Millennium. “And though the Lord gives you The bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:20-21). The future ahead is a bright one!
Please have a good Sabbath!
Your Brother in Christ,