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~Crutches On The Altar~

Jim Keeling

Crutches On The Altar
May 27, 2012

Good Morning Little Flock,   

I pray that all is well with you and that God is blessing you with His love and understanding. I pray that where there is pain and ill health, God’s comfort and healing hand will touch you with a complete recovery. Where there is financial, home, domestic or other problems in your lives, God’s mercy will be passed to you in abundant proportion and all problems will be eradicated. Where there is loneliness and despair, God’s love and grace shall touch your heart and your cup will overflow with joy and happiness… I pray that your home be one filled with love and that it is warm and dry and that your cupboards have food to spare. I pray the Holy Spirit touches your mind with wisdom and understanding in the realm of God’s Holy Word. These things I pray in the precious name of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus… Amen and Amen

You know I have found that there are little daily lessons in almost everything we have happening to us or that we see around us or even read and such is the case here. (smile) I receive this touching story from Charlie and Ann and wish to thank them for sharing it with me. It is a beautiful story but I have found some important lessons in here as well. I hope that you all will enjoy the story and the little daily lessons… For these daily lessons enrich our lives and make living more worthwhile and precious…     
Crutches On The Altar

One day a minister received a request from a missionary society to preach a missionary sermon to be followed by a collection for a certain foreign field. The minister put his whole soul into the effort, encouraging the people to give cheerfully for the Lord's work.

After the sermon the collection basket was passed as usual; but the minister watched the result with depressed feelings as only small amounts were dropped in. Evidently his words had not reached the hearts of his hearers. He noticed how those who were well able to give kept looking at the time, anxious to be out and about other things.

On the last bench, in the meantime, a battle was waging in the heart of a poorly clad girl. Through an accident, Margaret had been crippled. She could not take a step without assistance. One day a kind lady procured a pair of crutches for her and since then her life had been much happier. This Sunday she ventured for the first time to church. What a great blessing it was to be able to listen to the Gospel once more.

As the usher came near with the basket, Margaret said to herself with a sad heart, "I have nothing to give - not a cent - and there in the foreign land the missionaries are expecting our gifts; they need so much to carry on their work. Oh, what can I do?" These thoughts went through her mind and made her shudder. "My new crutches could be sold for a sum of money, but I cannot spare them; I must have them; they are my very life."

"Yes, your life", said a voice within; "but did not Christ give His life for you?  If you give what is your life, some poor souls in Africa will hear that He is their Saviour too. Oh, if you only would!"

Finally a glow came over her face. She pressed a kiss on the crutches and waited, her heart pounding.

The collection basket came to where Margaret sat. The usher knew her well. He gave a friendly nod and was about to pass on. To his astonishment, she made an effort to lay the crutches on the basket. The man grasped the situation, took the crutches out of her hand, put them on the basket and carried them slowly through the aisle, laying them without a word on the altar.

Everyone watched him in breathless suspense. They all knew the young girl, and many eyes filled with tears. The minister, deeply affected, laid his hand on the crutches and repeated solemnly the words of Jesus: "She hath done what she could".

What a stir this incident made in the meeting! Suddenly the perspiration came on the banker's brow, and he wiped his face with his handkerchief as he pulled out his pocketbook. The rich lady fumbled about for her purse. The rich merchant whispered something in the ear of the usher, who passed the collection basket once more from bench to bench. This time money came like raindrops.

Quietly and solemnly the people left the church. One lady stepped up to Margaret and gave back her new crutches. She had redeemed them for the benefit of the missionaries for the sum of one hundred dollars. The happy girl returned home, little realizing how much she had done that day for her Master.

Psalms 32: 8
[8] I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Luke 6: 38
[38] Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Isn’t it or perhaps I should say, doesn’t it seem odd that with all the diligent study and preparation of the pastor for the message and plea to give, that very little response was made?  How often do our efforts go unabated? That is until the Holy Spirit comes on the scene and touches the heart of someone. A divine intervention, if you will. But what if Margaret, in her unselfish act of obedience, had not given her crutches or listened to the wooing of the Holy Spirit?

The service would have been a flop and missionaries would have suffered as the result... And so what made this service such a success? Was it the minister’s dedication and hard work? Was it the wooing of the Holy Spirit to the heart of a little child? Perhaps a combination of both enter-twined with a positive response of love and obedience from a little crippled girl…

How often have you and I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit only to dismiss it and turn away? How often has a potential blessing been thwarted because of rejection and dismissal on our part? Now here is the lesson in the story! Although the minister did his part in study and preparation, even though the Holy Spirit placed upon the heart of Margaret the crippled child to offer up her crutches, and even though the usher was faithful in doing his duties, it was the response of this loving and crippled little child, who in obedience, gave her prized possession.

And what were the results of her love and obedience to the nudging of the Holy Spirit? God blessed her with the return of her crutches pressed down, shaken together, and running over… Pressed down and overflowing by not only receiving her crutches back but by touching the hearts of those who saw her actions and shaken together by their responses, and then running over as the congregation gave extra for the missionaries.

And so little flock the next time we feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit to do something, why not be as Margaret in our story and allow the love of Jesus in our hearts to shine forth in our actions as our actions display the love and obedience in following in His will… What a blessing it will be, not only for us but for all those who witness this love and obedience in following in His will…
Well Glory!

Until next week;
May the Lord richly bless you and may we each yield our lives to Jesus and tell all those we meet what God has done in our lives and how He has saved our soul from an eternity in Hell. For complete surrender to Him brings complete victory. Well Glory!
Br. Jim

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