Many years ago a work mate of mine was involved in the restoration of a “ Y” class steam engine which had been on static display near our local “Civic” hall. One Saturday afternoon I went to the workshops and helped push it onto a turn-table and saw it fired up.
On display at our local railway workshop is a “D” class engine and I asked him what would be involved in restoring it to working order. He reeled of all that would need to be repaired and replaced and the great amount of money it would require to complete the task. As of these many years later it still sits where it sat for so long.
Many people would take little notice of this fine old engine and show little or no concern for its fate. For the enthusiast however it is a project which if it were funded and staffed would be incredibly worthwhile.
It is this desire we see projected to infinity when we think about God and the work of man’s salvation. He could have gone back to the drawing board and started again. He could have left mankind to its well deserved fate yet He in love to the work of his hands determined on man’s salvation, counted the cost and paid the price his only Son.
He in infinite mercy looked beyond man’s deteriorated and defiled condition and saw him as redeemed, sanctified and glorified.
Would that were more of this attitude in us Christians when we look at the unsaved; seeing the potential and renewal in man’s salvation. This would prompt us to greater efforts in proclaiming the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Long before he was “Jed Clampett and “Georgy Russell, Buddy Ebsen : (Christian Ludolf “Buddy” Ebsen, Jr.) (April 2, 1908 – July 6, 2003) was a song and dance man and ‘Vaude-villian”.
It was his unique dancing style and movements that were used to on the “grid” to animate Mickey Mouse’s dancing in the 1929 to 1939 Silly Symphony cartoons.
In a great opportunity for his career Ebsen was cast as the “scarecrow” in the “Wizard of Oz”.
Ray Bolger who was originally cast as the “Tin man” asked him to swap roles and he obligingly rehearsed and recorded the songs belonging to that role.
Unfortunately due to a bad reaction to the Aluminum powder he was unable to complete the production and the “Tin man” role was taken over by Jack Halley with a costume coated with safer Aluminum paste.
His fame came later when he accepted the role of the patriarch of the “Clampett “family. He is quoted as saying of this role “The one flaw in this is that you can’t hear the people laughing“.
There are no doubt setbacks and failures are a major part of life some blight all our future life others are mere bumps in the road.
Christians are no different in this respect except for the fact they are imperceptibly guided through them by an all wise and loving guide.
God sends trials and tribulations to wean His children from love of this world and to try their faith and love for himself. He guides their path and equips them for His service and to face the hardships of “a good soldier of Christ”.
It may seem to us that some of our past life bears a close resemblance to what is left behind after a locust plague such as was often seen in Biblical times.
What was once green and promised great fruitfulness is now a barren wasteland.
However as Joel 2:25 reminds us, we have a Great God who can restore and replaced what we have lost and give abundantly more.
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.”