Radio Leicester Thought for the Day
© John Denney 26 May 1999
Two vampire bats were hanging upside down. One of them – let’s call him Stewart, since he was the opening bat - said, “I’m hungry” and flew off. Two hours later, he returned and hung himself upside down again. “How did you get on, Stewart?” asked the other. “Terrible. Not a living creature out there. Not a drop of blood to be seen. I’m famished.” “So am I,” said Hussein (for he was second bat). “I’ll go to look for some nice fresh blood.” He flew off and two minutes later he came back in and hung himself upside down. Stewart looked at him. Hussein was simply soaked with blood. It was all over his fur and was dripping off him. “Hey, Hussein, old vampire bat chum,” said Stewart, “where did you get that?” “Well, you see that old oak tree over there?” replied Hussein. “Ye-e-e-s.” “Well I didn’t!”
Isn’t life strange that way? You can be engrossed, doing what you’re doing, when suddenly, wallop! from nowhere, something you weren’t expecting can come up and throw all your plans awry. Last Saturday evening, Lawrence Dallaglio was expecting to fly out today to captain his country’s rugby team in the World Cup. Thirty-six hours later he had been forced to resign and spend the next few weeks stuck at home. Last week, Benyamin Netanyahu was Prime Minister of Israel. Today, thrown out of office by the election, he’s just an ex-politician looking for a job.
All of us suffer disappointments in life. Maybe you don’t get the job you really want. Maybe you miss out on a promotion. Maybe a customer or a supplier lets you down. Maybe your love for someone is thrown back at you. Maybe your loved one dies. Maybe ….. oh, so many maybes!
Jesus knew a thing or two about life not working out as you’d hoped. Jesus came to preach good news to the spiritually poor; but He was vilified by the religious leaders of His day. Jesus taught and lived with twelve special friends, but one took money to betray Him to the Secret Police. The friend that Jesus commissioned to do some of the most important work in the church denied that he had known Jesus. The crowd that had cheered Jesus into Jerusalem turned, within a few days, into a mob demanding His execution. But Jesus didn’t give up: He went right on to the end. And this is how Jesus encouraged the apostle Paul, who had plenty of set-backs himself:
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. [2 Cor 12:9a] Jesus’ words encourage me. Do they encourage you?