In the world but not of it

November 16, 2009

They’re not the enemy…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute
you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.
For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on
the just and the unjust alike. Matthew 5:44-45

Watchman Nee, the well-known Chinese Christian, tells the
story of a Chinese farmer who was a believer and made his livelihood with rice
fields. The farmer spent hours each day irrigating the rice fields with a
manual pump that had to be operated by his foot conducting a continuous pumping
action.

This farmer had a neighbor who was both a communist and an
atheist. The neighbor found a way to divert water from the farmer’s efforts
into his own fields. This went on for some time until the farmer discovered the
injustice. The farmer prayed and told God that this was wrong and that the
livelihood of his family depended solely on these rice fields. The Lord’s
answer was to love his neighbor and to get up earlier each day and pump water
for his neighbor’s fields first and then his own. As difficult as this was the
farmer obeyed and for months got up earlier and pumped water first for the
neighbor’s fields and then his own.

The neighbor could not fathom such sacrifice and love on the
farmer’s part. This action completely overwhelmed the neighbor and anything he
could ever have imagined. The result was that both the farmer and the neighbor
had an abundance of rice but also that the neighbor gave his life to Christ.

If we consider all the times in our lives when others have made
it their aim to frustrate our plans, steal our reputations and take advantage
of us, what were our responses? They were likely nothing like this farmer’s
response. I then consider what may have been lost…their soul perhaps.

Am I willing to respond in love to those that lash out? Will
I work diligently to help those that don’t support me by loving them regardless?

He always takes care of our reputation when we take care of
His.

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