In Jars of Clay

“… to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”

2 Corinthians 4:7

Dear Friend,

As an Army guy for 39 years, I find the story of Simpson and his donkey particularly moving. Simpson was a stretcher-bearer at Gallipoli. After landing on 25 April, he began using one of the donkeys brought in for carrying water, to transport wounded men day and night from the fighting to the beach on Anzac Cove, through deadly sniping and furious artillery shrapnel.

Simpson and the donkeys continued this work for three and a half weeks until he was killed by machine-gun fire while carrying two wounded men. Simpson wasn’t a great warrior who won battle after battle, he was an ordinary guy who did his job, bravely delivering water and bringing back the wounded. And yet his statue is at the Australian War Memorial.

It reminds me so much of Matthew 9:36-38: “When He saw the crowds He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Then He said something really surprising to His disciples. “ ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into the harvest.’ ” I would have wanted to have a great preacher preach the gospel and see thousands come to faith. Or at least to send out the best and brightest to really help the crowds. But Jesus doesn’t. He says to pray for labourers! Labourers: ordinary people with little formal training doing hard work. People like Simpson, and the apostles – “uneducated common men” who had a relationship with Jesus (Acts 4:13). Why? Well I think Paul gives us a clue in 2 Corinthians 4:7: “…we have this treasure [the gospel] in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us”. This gives me heart.

God doesn’t just use the best and brightest. He uses ordinary people like me and the glory rebounds to Him. What a privilege it is to be labouring in the harvest for, and with, our great God!

Together let us go wherever He leads and do whatever He asks. Lead On!

Grant Dibden

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