Take stock, where am I?
I am in a field in Thirsk and there are poppies through out the whole field. Fields and fields of poppies. I could almost be back in Ypres in Belgium again dwelling on the sacrifice of the world war one in Flanders fields. But I am not, I am in Thirsk in Yorkshire!
I arrive in York after writing just the words “take stock” and the guide at the first event in the chocolate museum in York mentions the words to “take stock”. I quickly find out that chocolate was sent out to the soldiers in Ypres in 1914. Why am I dwelling on these connections?
People are hurting all over the world. Many people are being oppressed or have worries, but I am not there, I am here. To take stock is to rest and look at what you have got, to take a count of the things you have, and as a follower of Christ to look at what I have and thank God for everything.
I can help people here and now that I can bump into, or whom are led to me and I believe that God uses us in this way. But God also expects us to take stock of what we have to help others. Just like chocolate was sent out to the war in 1914. People took stock, tightened their belts and sent help. We can devote extra time to send prayers and send physical things out to help others. I feel blessed that I had the courage to join a project called www.compassionuk.org. This project allows you to send money each month to help children through education that would not normally be able to afford this. Not only this it allows you to see the difference your money has and to develop a relationship with these people through letters, prayers and perhaps visiting the country involved.
Jesus frequently took stock of the situation and responded with prayers and with physical help through healing or through teaching wisdom.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”
34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
Supplies for the Road
35 And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?”
So they said, “Nothing.”
36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”
38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.”
And He said to them, “It is enough.”
Jesus has just dealt with the apostles arguing over who will be the greatest, and we are told that Jesus has prayed for Peter not to be taken by Satan. Skipping forward we can also see that Jesus also thinks it is time to take a money belt and to be prepared with what is at hand. They reply that they have two swords and he says that this is enough.
I feel that tonight I am being asked to keep the prayers up but also to take stock of what I have, thank God for these blessings, but also use them in the journey ahead.
What do you have at hand for each day?
Surely God has provided enough for the journey ahead and we must now seek to use these blessings as much as we can.
People are hurting in front of us on the bus, in a coffee shop, in a pizza place, everywhere people feel pain, trouble, anguish and confusion. We are here to pray for these people and if there is some physical thing we can do, then we must do that physical thing.
There are poppies in Flanders, there are poppies in Thirsk, we must remember that God is with us and all of the sacrifices each day are not in vain.
Lord, I thank you every day for all the blessings you bring to myself and people around me. I pray that I shall continue to help others and to hear your word on a daily basis. I pray that my prayers, whether silent or out loud shall be continued to be heard and that I can make a difference with what I have at hand because this is surely enough.