Glory in the Face

By Mike Wilkins

The Face of Christ and the Strength to Face Anything

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  • Jul31Mon

    Always and for Everything?

    July 31, 2017

    Last week, a big guy hit me once on the top of my head with a sledgehammer. Thankfully, I had just put on my bicycle helmet. The experience hurt quite a bit at the time. And five days later, it still hurts. Not my head, but my neck, my chest (especially my collar bones), and my spine.

    Of course, I knew what to do. The instructions are clear.

    … be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ … [Ephesians 5:20 ESV]

    Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. [1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV]

    I have to admit that these scriptural instructions do raise questions. “Always and for everything”? “And “in all circumstances”? While I am admitting things, I should add that in fact there were no big guys with sledgehammers responsible for my pains. 

    I myself am responsible entirely. I wasn’t trying to be stupid, by the way. But I did try to hop my bicycle up a curb by pulling on the handlebars really quickly, as I often did when I was a younger and stronger cyclist--and/or a little kid. This time, the front wheel didn’t leave the pavement at all. Not even for a moment. Likewise, the curb did not budge in the least. On the bright side, I almost did clear the handlebars before landing squarely on my head. It was as if a big guy and a sledgehammer had had their way with me. So … nothing broken, but a number of bruises acquired. And I’m still sore.

    I would like to go on record as being thankful “to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” “for everything” involved in "The Adventure of the Virtual Sledgehammer.” And I am working on the “always” and “in all circumstances” parts.

    Those who regularly read this blog, or my previous blog at will know that I am not unfamiliar with experiences of pain and suffering. (I have laid out my reasons for giving thanks for them all in “Glory in the Face.”) These last few days, I’ve been endeavouring to deal with this new experience as I have worked on dealing with the previous ones. I am thinking that they might turn out to bear a resemblance to experiences that will come my way in the weeks and months (and years?) to come.

    As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” And as the Bible says to all those who love the Lord Jesus, And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen."  [1 Peter 5:10-11 ESV]

    Amen. Yes!