It’s a phrase I nicked from a friend of mine (but he can go whistle for the royalties).
“This has more than a whiff of sulphur about it“, he’d say, referring to an odd ‘co-incidence’ of difficulties that might occur when you step out for God.
Now I’m not one for blaming every sniffle of a cold on the machinations of the guy in the red onesie, but both as a scientist and as a Christian I must admit that there is more to life than that which is visible and easily understood. (Dark matter and the wave-particulate duality of light, for example). I think CS Lewis has the mood about right in his fabulous ‘Screwtape Letters’, which I recently re-read.
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
BTW if you’ve not ever read this, you MUST! Here’s a link (and remember that anything you buy from Amazon when you visit through one of my links helps buy my college books. So do all your Christmas shopping!) And here’s a link to a rather fab dramatized recording on 4 CDs.
So why am I talking about this now? As I prepare to step out on new adventures, both at college and with my new church, I find myself uncharacteristically ill on several occasions, and my lovely car is off the road for almost three weeks of expensive repairs before finally conking out completely!
All could simply be happenstance of course. But it’s just the kind of distraction, disturbance and attempted disillusionment that good old Uncle Screwtape would have recommended for his nephew to use on his human.
Ho hum. Being ill has meant that I’m way behind on both writing and jobs around the house. Expensive repairs means that the ‘rainy day’ fund has gone. Conking out completely means that the pennies I had set aside for course fees have had to pay for a new car – a posh car, y’know, the kind that actually moves.
So now I find myself in the place of Gideon. No, not in a winepress. Not that place. The place where he had 32,000 fighting men and God told him he had too many and he’d have to get rid of over 99% of his army. Why? So that when the battle was won everyone would know it was not because of human resources, but because of God.
So, here I am – me and my 300. Rainy day fund, gone. Slush fund, gone. College savings account, gone. There’s enough left to pay the bills and feed and clothe everyone, so compared to many folks we’re fine. The wolf is not at the door or anything. But the resources I was relying on, like Gideon’s army, have vanished.
BUT (and I have a big butt) God is good and he knows what he’s doing. I believe he sent me to Wesley House and so all will be well. Not quite sure how yet, but I have seen my Awesome Lord sort out stuff like this before, and the fact that I don’t know something does not mean it is not so. So there!
On with life. Eggy bread for tea – and hold the sulphur!