Dearest Friends in Harvest,
The story is told of a fisherman who had a large tank on the side of his fishing boat. It was perforated so that the water of the sea passed right through it. He would put the fish that he caught in this tank to keep them alive and fresh for the market, but he found that after they had been kept in there a few days they lost their firmness and flavor. . Their life in the tank was not their natural life. They did not have to struggle for their food, and they were safe from their enemies. Such a life of ease produces deterioration.
There was another fisherman there who also kept the fish that he caught in a tank on the side of his boat, but he always brought his fish to market in good condition. After his death his daughter told the secret. He always put a catfish in the tank and it kept the fish in fear of their lives all the time and they always had to struggle to keep out of his way. It was like their natural life in the sea. The afflictions and misfortunes which distress the children of God are not all to be explained as chastening for their wrong doings. There may be the catfish in the well placed there by Him who knows all th1ngs to keep them in the best of condition. Those who live in comfort and ease usually never amount to very much for the Lord. God, in choosing man, always selects those who have gone through trials and hardships.
A noted violinmaker went out into the timber to select his own timber for the making of his violin. He always chose the wood from the north side of the tree because he said it was used to the hard beating storms from the north and was tough and would stand more strain. This he said was better suited for violins. Those who have withstood the stormy trials and hardships of life are the ones who are best fitted for His service.
I read one time that the devil brings his brats and leaves them on your door steps but you do not have to take them in and give them a bed, keep them warm from the elements, feed and clothe them and finally adopt them. I had never heard this before but he took it even a step further, temptations are the devils children. The parable of the good shepherds faithfulness to his flock of sheep would be of no consequence if there were no wolf. For that matter the war lines of Philistia and Israel, where the Giant Goliath would come out and offer his challenge, “Give me a man to fight with”, would have never been complete without a shepherd boy that answered his war cry. Remember what David said in response to his arrogance, “THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S”.
In high school I was interviewed after winning the Golden Gloves welterweight Championship. The reporter asked me what I was thinking when I was in the ring? I told him I was thinking I must hit him more times than he hits me. That is how you win the match, just fight one more round, knowing that the one that fights one more round always wins.
The victorious are always fighting the good fight of faith.
Thank you for your love and blessings as we continue to lift up our eyes to the fields, for they are white unto harvest.
It is HARVEST TIME.
CLEDDIE AND GAYNELL KEITH