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Fiber for the Soul--Gracious Hand of God

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Fiber for the Soul--Gracious Hand of God

Post  Admin on Sat 07 Aug 2010, 10:59 am

Fiber for the Soul--Gracious Hand of God
By Gary Kallio
In reflection, I can't get along without some help along the way. It's not that I would get into trouble, nor that I couldn't handle a job, it's just that I need a helping hand. The mark of a man in our society is that he can accomplish great things by himself, but when his life is over, he leaves a large stone monument, and is soon forgotten.
As a Christian, a small headstone and good character is a better legacy. We generally remember those who gave a helping hand in time of need, for life goes better when we are gracious with our words, and generous with our deeds.
For the last two months I've been stuck in the book of Ezra. I relate to him in that he knew his scriptures, and was well versed in the laws of Moses. A descendant of Aaron, Ezra lived what he taught and, because of his stature as a teacher, was ordained by King Artaxerxes to go to Jerusalem.
A contingent of Jews several decades earlier had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the foundations of the temple. The work was tedious and difficult, but they needed to learn how to worship God. They needed someone to guide them in the laws of God given to Moses. This was the job for Ezra; and he said he was ready to go.
He, along with about 1500 other men and families, camped for three days before starting out. They fasted and prayed for safety on their trip, a journey of perhaps 1000 miles. The trip took four months of travel through dangerous desert areas, home to robbers and bandits. Upon arriving in Jerusalem, he said that the gracious hand of God was upon them, for they were carrying tons of gold and silver; freewill gifts destined to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
In practical application the "gracious hand of God" means that when God has a task for us, he has already prepared us. For some, preparation time may be extensive. In Ezra's case, he remained in Babylon until he was needed in Jerusalem. God watches over us and protects us from unknown terror, providing everything we need for our journey. Today, we may be called upon to do a small job or a big task because we've been prepared--prepared to help a friend, or a neighbor. Tomorrow you may be called upon to do something in a small, seemingly insignificant way, for it is the gracious hand of God leading you. The key is to be available, for when you extend your helping hand, you're extending the gracious hand of God.
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