AS I lift my pen another time and reflect on the year that has passed, the thing I remember most is the longest, wettest autumn, winter and spring on record, I think. (And I can recall the big snow of 1947.)
However, in April, like all the other farmers, we looked for a little window of good weather to get our crops in. Many across the Province struggled to get an opportunity, so late reseeds and cereals are struggling, especially on hilly land. But winter barley and wheat are looking good. We have now had a wonderful spell of dry, sunny weather, with just a few showers of rain here along the east coast of Down. The words almost stick in my throat, but we do need rain!
What a discontented bunch we are, and it reminds me of the man who asked his Bible Class the question: What is it that God cannot do? They were all puzzled and not able to think of anything God could not do, since God had created this world and all the beauty we see around us. As Mrs Alexander wrote in one of her hymns: ‘Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colours, He made their tiny wings.’ So, surely there was nothing God could not do?
At last one bright spark in the class put up his hand: ‘Sir, I think I have the answer’. ‘And what is your answer?’ asked the teacher. ‘He couldn’t please the farmers,’ said the boy, to bursts of laughter from the others.
However, we have the answer in Titus 1:2: ‘In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began’. In this world of fake news, it is great to have a God who cannot lie. His promises are true, and when He offers us salvation through a simple act of faith we can take it, for it is the word of a Gentleman. Acts 16:31 says: ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved’. It is great to rest on His promises.
‘But,’ says someone, ‘how can I keep it?’ Well, God does not even ask us to do the keeping. Psalm 121:3 says: ‘He that keepeth thee will not slumber,’ and verse 5 says: ‘The Lord is thy keeper’.
Remember I mentioned the snow of 1947? All my sisters and I had the measles and, if that was not bad enough, Dad came in to see us and announced that our old sheep dog, called Keeper, had died.
The One who keeps us is eternal and can never die. Jude tells us in verse 24 of his little book, ‘Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy . . .’ Jesus Christ is both Saviour and Keeper.