27 So he answered and said,” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
I had planned to write a humorous column this week, but then at the last moment I just wasn’t feeling it. It seems like the rhetoric of the media is overloading my brain. Our nation is overrun with violence and hatred. Gwen Rockwood’s column this week was such a comfort to me.
It always makes me feel good to know that others are thinking some of the same things I am. Maybe I’m not crazy after all.
I’ve been in Memphis this week visiting my mother in her assisted-living home. I’ve had a wonderful time just sitting with her all day, following her daily routine with her. Being in the big city has been good for me, too. It’s allowed me to gain insight from a diverse group of people.
Whenever I’m troubled, I’m always listening for the Lord’s voice. And, eventually, He always speaks to me. Most often He speaks to me through His Word (the Bible) and through His Spirit. But sometimes He speaks to me through circumstances, and many times, through people.
I believe the Lord has been speaking to me throughout this week. Last Sunday I received Holy Communion at Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal church up the street from my son Spencer’s house. The Gospel for the day was from St. Luke, the story of the lady who had a crippled spine. She was bent so badly she couldn’t even stand up straight. Jesus took her hand and completely healed her — and then the Pharisees complained because He had done it on the Sabbath.
The pastor Rev. Ollie Rencher made a wonderful application in his sermon that’s so relevant to the world’s present situation. He pointed out that the woman wasn’t able to straighten out her own difficulties. But when she brought her problem to the Lord Jesus, He was able to straighten things out perfectly. The pastor said that we should always bring our “crooked things” and “bent things” to Jesus. That’s because Jesus always straightens out everything we bring to Him — albeit in accordance with His divine will, His eternal plan, and His perfect timing. The hardest part is remembering to come to Him and in deciding exactly how to bring our difficulties to the Saviour.
(As they say in Mississippi, “That’ll preach.” 😊)
I’ve received other godly counsel in the course of my travels this week. My daughter-in-law’s friend Alisha said it’s a waste of time to ruminate about our nation’s problems. That just makes us angry and anxious. Instead we’ve got to devote ourselves to prayer and good works. She said we can’t solve our nation’s problems ourselves. It’s going to take divine intervention.
(That’ll preach, too. 😊)
I’m always fascinated at how I happen upon godly counsel at just the right moment. I would’ve missed it if it had been 10 seconds different in either direction. Yesterday my brain was feeling particularly overloaded. Flipping through channels, my mom and I were getting ready to watch the news. It was 5:28 PM. I happened to catch the last two minutes of a local man teaching a Bible lesson. He was quoting the words of King Solomon, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the full duty of man.” It reminded me that King Solomon was a man who possessed everything and who had tried everything. But after trying everything, he realized the whole duty of mankind. We must bring everything to Jesus, fear the Lord, and keep His commandments.
And maybe the commandments we should begin with are the ones Jesus said were the greatest. There’s the one about loving the Lord with all our hearts. And then the one about loving our neighbors as ourselves….
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 34 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He’s a retired Mississippi public schoolteacher with grown sons, and is now a stay-at-home-grandpa. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where the Preacher is glad to get home, even after having a wonderful week.) You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.