2017-06-15 / Editorial Page

Better to swat flies with newspapers than iPads

Words of Encouragement
By ROGER ALFORD columnist

I got quite a laugh out of the joke about the old man who was visiting his daughter one evening when he asked to borrow a newspaper.

“This is the 21st Century,” she told him. “We don’t waste money on newspapers. Here, use my iPad.”

“I can tell you this,” the old man said, “that fly never knew what hit him.”

Flies have been a nuisance to mankind since ages old. In fact, the Bible tells us that God used flies as one of the plagues on Egypt when He was convincing Pharaoh to re­lease His people from slavery.

‘Thick swarms of flies went into Pharaoh’s palace and his officials’ houses. Throughout Egypt, the land was ruined because of the swarms of flies’ (Exodus 8:24).

If you’ve ever been pestered by a single fly, you could certainly understand how bothersome a huge swarm of flies would be. It’s why we invest in window screens to keep flying pests outside. It’s why we provide fly tags or rubs for our livestock throughout America’s heartland. The fact is, people don’t like being pestered, and will go to great lengths to avoid it.

It’s hard to imagine, but Ameri­cans spend more than $11 billion a year on pesticides. That’s a lot of money just to keep pests at bay. It reinforces what we all know about ourselves: we’ll go to great lengths to avoid being pestered.

Jesus told a parable once about an unjust judge who was being pestered by a widow who wanted justice in some kind of dispute. She kept going to this unjust judge, asking over and over again, for justice. He finally gave in, saying ‘because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice so she doesn’t weary me with her persistence’ (Luke 18:5).

So, it seems flying insects aren’t the only pests in this world. We learn from Jesus in that parable that people can be pests, too, at least to other people. We also learn that people are never pests to God, and that He will swiftly intervene on our behalf.

That parable ends with these ques­tions: ‘Will not God grant justice to his elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice.’

Now, that’s good news. When we’re facing difficulties, hardships, trials or tribulations, we should feel free to pray to God for His help, and we should never feel like we’re being pests to Him. In fact, he tells us to pray without ceasing. He loves to hear from us.

We can be assured God will never feel like swatting us with a newspa­per or an iPad. He loves us so much that He’s always glad when we reach out to Him.

Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at rogeralford1@gmail.com.

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