Thoughts on the Gospel by David Joy

January 2015 No.216

                                    ‘ ... a stone’, 1 Samuel Ch17 v 49

Spiders’ Webs
Everything around me was shrouded in mist as I walked along a forest path. Thick bushes that edged the path were draped in spider’s webs that had been transformed by the damp atmosphere into finest gossamer. All along the path thousands of intricate patterns had created an endless picture of nature’s finest art.

I found it amazing that the beauty I surveyed had been created by tiny spiders. They had managed to cover every bush, as far as I could see, with their webs and I found myself reminiscing on how God can use small things to do great works.

A Shepherd Boy, a Small Pebble and a Giant
David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, was only a young shepherd boy, when he was faced with an apparently impossible task. He had volunteered to fight a giant called Goliath.

Imagine the scene for a few moments. A young lad, with nothing in his hand but a sling and a small stone facing up to a mighty giant, over nine feet tall, wielding a huge sword and clothed in heavy armour. David’s task seemed impossible! But not for God!!

When Goliath advanced on David, the young lad ‘put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it,’ 1 Samuel 17 v 49 and killed the giant.

Could it be that we think we are of no use to God for, like the small stone, our talents seem worthless?

God’s Strength
I think it is true to say that sometimes, because we think we have little to offer God we end up doing nothing for Him. We forget too that he can take our limited talents, and like the small stone, use them to slay problems that appear to us as giants.

May we each find that as David, by trusting in God, received strength to defeat Goliath, we can say with Paul the Apostle that, ’when I am weak, then I am strong,’ 2 Corinthians 12 v 10.

Paul the Apostle
Consider Paul too, who said ‘Who is weak, and I am not weak? 2 Corinthians 11 v 29. Yet God used him, weak as he was to spread the Gospel.

As I recall the vastness of the spiders’ work and consider that every bush along the path had been touched by their hand, I remember Hudson Taylor.

Hudson Taylor
When Hudson Taylor arrived in China and considered the vastness of the country and the enormity of the task before him, he was overcome by a sense of his weakness and insufficiency for the work. But God took him, as he was, weak and utterly dependent on the Lord for everything and used him to do a work in China that is still remembered today. Through Him, countless lost souls were touched by the hand of God.

Tiny Spiders
When I consider how small, even the largest of spiders in this country are, the extent of what they had created around me seems even more incomprehensible. It is quite incomprehensible too what God can do with small things and insignificant people.

Small Things
Friends, David was able to kill a giant with a small stone.

Paul, a previous enemy of Christ became one of His most devout followers and soldiers.

Hudson Taylor laid the foundations for a great work in China that would continue even to this day.

And many little spiders combined together to create a work of art that still remains vivid in my memory.

Light in Darkness
I read once about a man who was to preach in an isolated church. On arriving there he found the church in darkness, apart from one candle.

Waiting in the near darkness, he watched with interest as people arriving for the service each lit a candle. Soon the building was filled with light for the combined candle power, like the combined work of the spiders that had created a vista of webs, created enough light to illuminate the whole church!

Candles for Christ
Dear friends, if we feel that what we do for Jesus is but as a tiny candle shining in the dark, may God encourage us by reminding us of those, who, in their weakness, were used by the Lord to do great things for Him.

And may our candles, however small, like the candles in the isolated church, combine with the work of others to illuminate Jesus to the world around us.