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Time in the Kingdom

March 11th, 2007

“…but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

(Luke 12:56)

In the story, “The Well of the Star,” by Elizabeth Goudge (Farmington, PA: The Plough Publishing House, 1996), we meet David, a young, ragamuffin shepherd boy whose father is ill. David’s mother is desperate as her entire family is plunged into wanton physical needs. It is recalled that a fabled well offers hope to those whose hearts are pure enough before God who is able to answer the prayers of the needy. The story goes on to suggest that David encounters three kings at the well. These royal travelers had temporarily lost sight of a star which they were following. After it is found again, David goes with them to a stable in Bethlehem. Taken by the moment, he gives his only possession to the baby boy—his treasured shepherd’s pipe. The way home was long, for he had not served the purpose for which he left. Reluctant to return to the family hut helpless, he falls at the well, broken and empty-handed.

“The utter deadness of the hour before dawn weighed on him. Like a pall and the cold of it numbed him from head to foot. He felt himself sinking lower and lower, dropping down to the bottom of some black sea of misery”

While we realize the revisionist nature of Goudge’s novel, based loosely upon the biblical narrative, are there not times in our own lives when we question the worth of our time spent in the kingdom of God? Church work at times brings heartaches and headaches. But, the kingdom of God is its own reward. A spiritual depth that quitters never know. To serve in the kingdom of God will mean sacrifice, brokenness, and selflessness. But, the godly among us will not give up. Time in the kingdom is its own reward. “He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).

Will God widen his kingdom through you, with you, and in you?

– Robert M. Housby

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