Pastor in the pasture Wendel Elliott: Promise
It was lunchtime and I was dialing the phone in a hurry! I couldn’t believe I had done it. I was sure hoping to get a hold of him while he was in the house. Thank God he was there and answered the phone. “Jeff!” I said a little too loudly. “This is Wendel. (Like he wouldn’t know) I just wanted to apologize for not showing up this morning. I completely forgot!”
You see Jeff had asked me about three weeks prior to come daywork for him on a particular day. He just had that one day. I told him I would be more than happy to help. Well fast forward three weeks later and here I am on the phone with him because I hadn’t followed up on my promise. Boy, I felt lower than a snake’s belly. I was thinking the whole time, “He ain’t ever going to ask me back.” Of course, who would blame him because I had left him short handed (not that I’m a great hand or anything). However, I know from personal experience how important having dayworkers that show up is to the overall plan of working cattle. I’m sure glad Jeff forgave me that day and asked me back. I look forward to each time I get to work at their place. Guess what? I can guarantee you that when he asks me to work for him I put it down immediately because I ain’t going to forget again!
I’m sure glad Jeff was forgiving when I didn’t keep my promise. I’m sure glad God is the same way. However, when we do learn and then follow through on our promise it sure helps our walk with Him. Now, don’t get me wrong, like I said He’s a forgiving God but our walk with Him, our word to Him, and our follow through is very important.
Let me show you an example. In 1 Samuel, chapter 1 we find that Hannah was barren and wanted a son. Verse 11 says, “She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”
(1 Samuel 1:11)
Sounds like a big promise! So in verses 19 and 20 we see the Lord remembered her and gave her a son, giving him the name Samuel. Later Hannah does indeed remember and keeps her promise to the Lord: “For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.” (1 Samuel 1:27-28
You see Hannah didn’t have a son but prayed for one. Her faith is amazing to me because real faith is sometimes not going through a time of not having. Real faith is sometimes going through, getting what you want, and then giving it up or giving it back to the Lord. The Lord remembered Hannah and Hannah remembered God and her promise to Him.
What have you promised to God? Have you followed through? I’m not suggesting a salvation by works but I am suggesting a real faith that is walked out and lived out through works for the Lord.
God the Father all throughout the Old Testament promised His coming Son. When He did come into this world He remembered His promise to you and me. He remembered His promise and gave Him up to be crucified so that you and I would have the opportunity of salvation from sin and death. Today is the day of salvation by putting your faith and trust in Him.
God has kept His promises…will we keep ours? Let’s don’t be like I was, calling after not following through on a promise. Let us be ones like our Father in Heaven keeping our word.
“Hello, Jeff? You bet I’ll come help. I promise to be there and I’m writing it down as we speak!”
I’ll see y’all out in the pasture!
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the July 24, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News