Thankful for common grace

My youngest son went into hospital the other day for minor surgery. I spent the morning not quite being able to sit still, in spite of knowing that this sort of thing happens to hundreds of children around the world every day. As it turned out, everything went smoothly. He got his own television set to watch, and was given a lemonade iceblock, so all was right with the world.

The episode made me appreciate once more the marvels of God’s created order, and the incredible ability and intelligence of human beings. When I was a kid, an operation like that would have meant at least a couple of nights in hospital, and yet my son was in and out of surgery, through recovery and home in half a day. You can’t even see his stitches! During times like these, we catch glimpses of the fact that humanity was made to rule the world. If only we would learn to rule it under God!

But the main reason for this post was to talk about the incredible sense of gratitude I felt towards those who showed kindness and care to my children. We live less than two kilometres from one of Sydney’s major hospitals for children—something for which we have given thanks more than once! Every time we go there, the staff are just amazing; they treat our family with kindness and concern. Our children are wonderfully cared for by people who obviously love them and want the best for them. And every time, I walk away with an immense sense of gratitude for the generosity of those who have treated my family so well.

In a year when some of the churches in my part of the world are working to connect with the community so that we can share the love of Christ, it’s a great reminder of the goodness of God in providing common grace. In spite of the prevalence of sin messing up our world, many in our society can still see the deep goodness of other-person-centredness and concern. It strikes me that if we want to find opportunities to share the eternal news of the gospel, genuine kindness and grace is as good a bridge into the lives of others as anything else God has created. If we deal with children and families with love and care and respect, I wouldn’t be surprised to find lots of doors opening to the gospel of Christ.

2 thoughts on “Thankful for common grace

  1. Thanks so much for this reminder Paul.  I too have felt deep gratitude when people have cared for me and my family when we were vulnerable. A while ago I finished reading “Hospital By The River” – the story of 2 Aussie doctors Reg and Catherine Hamlin who set up the fistula hospital for women in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.  The thousands of women who have been cared for by the Hamlins are poor, wretched, despised and vulnerable.  Catherine also offers classes to these women to learn more about Jesus.  Your post reminds me that even if I can’t go to Ethiopia and can only support overseas work from a distance, there are needy people all around me and simple acts of kindness can open doors for conversation about the precious Lord Jesus.

  2. “If we deal with children and families with love and care and respect, I wouldn’t be surprised to find lots of doors opening to the gospel of Christ.”
    It works, it really does work.

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