Thought for the week by pastor Diana Rutherford

by Struthers Cumbernauld

 ‘But now we have been given a brief moment of grace.’ Ezra 9:8a

Do you ever have a moment when something special dawns on you; something you’ve known already but it just suddenly hits you between the eyes?

These moments can happen spiritually for us when there are seasons of the visitation of the power of God. They can last for a split second, an hour or even over a number of weeks or months. It seems as if this verse is referring to such a time when grace was poured out on the people. I believe, this happens to all of us from time to time, no matter how difficult life can be in between times. He gives to us seasons of refreshing, moments of peace or grace and strength to help in the storms of life.

It is our duty to make the most of these moments when they come. The older and wiser you get the more you realise these moments are not always there, so when they come we must recognise, accept, cherish and squeeze every ounce of goodness out of them before they fleetingly disappear again.

‘He has given us security in this holy place.’ (v8b)

The soul who learns to do this is one who is enriched with the Spirit of God. They appear to sail calmly across stormy seas because they have treasured these brief moments of grace. They have found a security and a staying power in the presence of God that most Christians know little about.

‘Our God has brightened our eyes and granted us some relief from our slavery.’ (v8c)

If we learn to draw strength from these moments of grace then our eyes will be bright and we will find relief from all the little trying moments life brings that dull our spirits. Difficulties won’t overcome us, irritate or stress us out because we will have found that moment when we have gathered strength. We are slaves when sin masters us. We lose our sparkle, our eyes grow dull and our spirits become depressed. Why? Because we haven’t stopped to gather the manna. You see, the Israelites could only gather manna in the early morning. These brief moments of grace come to us sometimes at the most unexpected or inconvenient times. We often have to pay a price to find them and receive the blessing they bring. We can’t make them happen when it suits us. They are gifts from God, but how rich is the one who finds them, how secure and bright they become, how revived they are spiritually bringing life and joy and Christ to others!

Friends, let’s choose to keep our spiritual senses alert and find these brief moments of grace this week. Gather them, embrace them, breathe them deep inside your being and you will be strong bringing Christ to others.

‘He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins.’ (v9b)