An Old Man on a Shelf

A friend of mine expressed concern that his aging father is battling thoughts of suicide.  “Dad used to be a juggernaut of activity, always engaged in business, church projects, and helping others.  But now his aging body is breaking down, and he’s been set aside on a sick bed shelf.  He feels worthless.”  But he’s not.

Suppose a statue on its shelf capable of speech, and ask of it, “Why are you there?”

It would reply, “Because my master, the sculptor, placed me here.”

“Why are you so motionless?”

“Because he willed me to be so.”

“Of what use are you?  What does it profit you to be here?”

“I am not here for my own sake, but solely because it is the will of my master.”

“But you can’t even see!”

“No; but he sees me, and chooses that I should stay here.”

“Wouldn’t you want to have the power to move and go nearer to your master?”

“Not unless he wills it.”

“Don’t you have any wishes of your own?”

“None; for I am where my master placed me, and his pleasure is the sole object of my existence.” – Unknown

But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father,

We are the clay, and Thou our potter;

And all of us are the work of Thy hand.

—Isaiah 64:8

May the Lord give us the courage and faithfulness to stay at our posts until HE calls us home.  Though it may not seem very glamorous, because the King has posted us, no assignment is more noble.

For us, our Lord Jesus stood as a brass pillar till the last breath was beaten out of His nostrils.  That’s how He served us.  So ought we serve Him.  Some saints are called to show their faithfulness spectacularly, burning at a martyr’s stake.  Others are called to do it privately, lingering for years on a sick bed.  In our Lord’s eyes, joyful endurance in either situation is spectacular.  Soon, such will hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

—Mark Chanski
Reformed Baptist Church of Holland

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