Pulpit Talk: Thank God for rats

One of the classic baseball television shots comes from the 1975 World Series, in which NBC captured Carlton Fisk, jumping up and down, waving his arms, trying to coax his hit to stay fair. It did—-for a home run. Ask any sports enthusiast over the age of 50 and they will be able to picture this footage in their mind.

That timeless close-up would have been missed had the cameraman followed the ball with his camera, as was his responsibility. But the cameraman inside the Fenway Park scoreboard had one eye on a rat that was circling him. So instead of focusing the camera on the ball, he left it on Fisk.

Sometimes we encounter problems in life like that rat. We have no idea how they will be resolved, but because of problems, we may see God work in a way we never would have without the problems.

The New Testament book of James tells us to “consider it joy when we face trials because the testing of our faith produces endurance.” The goal of our tests in life is that we will develop endurance and become better through the trials. When we are surrounded by rats, God can make a lasting impression in our lives. We might not even be aware that something great is happening!

Sometimes because we are surrounded by life, we forget to say thank you to our great and wonderful God. In Luke 17:11-19 there is a story about ten lepers that cried out to Jesus for healing. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priest and on their way all ten of them were healed. One of them returned to Jesus and thanked Him, while the other nine didn’t.

Jesus noticed that only one returned to give thanks and because of that gesture of thanks, his faith had made him well spiritually. One thing I love about this past summer was all the extra time my wife and I got to spend visiting with family. Holding and loving on grandchildren takes this family thing to a whole new level for us. As I reflect on my family and blessings from God, I become so thankful for all that God has blessed me with.

If we say thanks to God for making us right and whole, then we will be well. If not, we will only be ungrateful and full of sins. Keep giving thanks to God each Lord’s day by worshipping Him. Thank Him every day for cleansing your leprous spots of sin.

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By Dr. Andy Spencer

Dr. Andy Spencer is the Senior Minister of First Church of Christ on Ledbetter Road in Xenia and guest columnist.