Friday, March 3, 2017

“Remember the Miners"

"Remember the Miners"     
    The next time I conduct or attend a wedding service, I hope to think about someone as I witness the groom place a diamond ring on the bride's finger.  I want to remember the people who made available both the precious stone and the metal.  I refer not to the jeweler, or the designer of the ring, or the company that brought the item to market.  No, I rather hope to remember the miners.  I want to think about the ones who brought the stone and metal from the heart of the earth to the surface, and ultimately to the bride's finger as a symbol of marital love and devotion. 

   Most of us cannot imagine working in mines of any sort.  The darkness, closeness of quarters, oppressive atmosphere, and inherent danger of mining overwhelm us with the sensibility that we could never do that.  But many do, in mines of every sort.  Much of modern life depends upon the efforts and sacrifices of those who go where most would never dream of venturing. The computer or phone on which you read this contains materials that once existed in the heart of the earth, and which required someone to go there, to journey where we would not dream of going.  Yes, I want to remember the miners, whether at weddings, or in so many other blessings of life that would not be possible without their unseen labors.

  This brings to mind Another whose labors go mostly unnoticed.  The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ works where we cannot or would not venture in order to bring forth the precious stones and metals of Christ in the hearts of believers.  "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).  How easy to forget or to not even realize the Lord's involved presence under the surface of our lives, as it were.  He does so much more for us and within us than we could ever know, and we do well to frequently give thanks for His unseen efforts on our behalf.  Certainly Jacob spoke for all of us when he confessed, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not!" (Genesis 28:16).

   I think also of the body of Christ when considering those who labor in obscurity and sacrifice.  I have long been convinced that the overwhelming majority of God's working in His people takes place in a manner that cannot be seen or recognized.  Just as the Lord Jesus lived most of His earthly life in complete obscurity, so He now mostly labors under the surface, behind the scenes, and in ways known only to those who "walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7).  This involves His working in those of whom we've never heard, but who factor greatly in the fulfillment of God's redemptive purposes.  Indeed, for every believer who seems to be an obvious display of the Lord's working, I suspect that 99 others do just as much or more without being known or noticed.  

   I hope to remember the miners at that next wedding, and on many other occasions.  Even more, I want to remember the Miner who "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11).  And I want to recall and give thanks for the Lord's children about whom I know nothing, but who contribute mightily to the Lord's glory and benefit of others.  Our Heavenly Father remembers, He knows, and will one day call those who labored in the heart of the earth, as it were, to come forth in the light of His glory...

"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
(Matthew 13:43)
"For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."
(Hebrews 6:10)

Weekly Memory Verse 
   Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.
(Ephesians 4:31)

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