Words from the Heart for Saturday February 11th, 2017
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psalm 23:5 (NRSV)
In The Presence Of My Enemies
The Lord’s provision and care is ours even before every circumstance changes and every situation is solved. We have a wonderful Shepherd who refreshes us and blesses us abundantly even in the midst of our challenges. Allow Him to do that for you today.
Canada has had military chaplains since before the formation of the country in 1867, but it was during the First World War under Major the Reverend John Almond that reforms were made and the modern chaplaincy service was created. Almond established a corps of talented representatives from each denomination and placed chaplains in almost every Canadian unit as well as in the hospitals and clinics. He put chaplain teams on the streets of London to divert soldiers on leave to safe and secure accommodation and steer them away from vice and disease. He worked with the senior Salvation Army chaplain, who created a Chaplains’ Social Service Department that sponsored concerts, opened cinemas and canteens, organized sports programs and provided tea, coffee and donuts to the members of the Canadian armed forces.
Not many of us have true enemies. We may have people we don’t get along with as well as others, or that we don’t have much in common with, so we don’t spend time socially. But most of us here in Canada don’t have enemies. We are fortunate because throughout history and in many countries today those who follow Jesus are hated simply because of their faith. I have had the privilege to meet many Christians who have been hated and persecuted. They meet under the cover of darkness or in sound proofed rooms. They sing softly or not at all. They pray silently. Some hide under a blanket while they listen on an illegal radio to Christian broadcasts. And on their faces is a joy that is beyond explanation. What is the source of that joy? King David speaks to this in Psalm 23:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” God is with those who suffer for following Christ. He fills them with every good blessing in Christ. The oil here is a symbol of joy and spiritual richness. Hebrews 1:9 describes it as the oil of gladness. Only because of Jesus can those who are surrounded by their enemies be filled with joy. It is a mystery, but it is also very real. When you face misunderstanding for your faith, expect to be filled to overflowing joy.
These have been words from the heart.