Story of the Day for Tuesday August 14, 2012
Does God Invite Ants to Your Picnic?
Job replied, “. . . Shall we accept good from God, but not trouble?”
On June 13, 1883, the little town of Mystic, Connecticut, was flooded with reporters from the biggest newspapers in New England: the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the New London Daily, Providence Journal, New York Herald, and many others.
The estimates of the crowd ranged from 5,000 to 12,000. They had come to Mystic to witness the unveiling of a statue honoring those who had fought in the Civil War.
The festivities got off to a slow start because the train from New London – which carried the governor and other dignitaries, was late.
Then the grandstands, which had been erected to accommodate the crowds for the occasion, collapsed.
When the granite statue was to be unveiled, cannons stood ready to deliver a 38-gun salute (in tribute to the 39 states in the Union). But when those manning the cannon battery noticed the state governor approaching, they abruptly changed plans and decided to deliver their 38-gun salute to him instead.
The cannons were loaded with blanks, but the timing could hardly have been more unfortunate. Civil War veterans were marching down the street to the monument. As the cannons roared their approval of the governor, the first three ranks of soldiers were mowed down. Burning powder lacerated their faces and scorched their uniforms. One officer was severely injured and another soldier’s leg badly bruised.
The former Civil War general, Joseph R. Hawley delivered a stirring speech which rattled on for forty minutes, and then the famished crowds were treated to a lavish meal served up by the ladies of Mystic. But a sudden downpour scattered the crowds, and the joyous day came to a fitting conclusion.
Have you ever had a day like this?
I knew a man who claimed that, if you really trust God, you won’t experience bad things. He boasted that, since he began a certain spiritual discipline, he had never had a flat tire. I had been practicing the same discipline for years, and I had flat tires.
Maybe I didn’t have enough faith. But, then again, maybe he was wrong.
When we live the way God invites us to, we, obviously, avoid many unnecessary troubles. But, once we get it into our heads that God’s mission is to keep the ants away at our picnics, we are priming ourselves for disappointment.
This darkened planet is not a luxury resort but a battleground. The Lord is looking for faith, but faith in something far bigger than whether or not our tires go flat.