“What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?” Psalm 116:12
Every time I conduct a funeral, I have the privilege of learning about the life of an interesting and precious person. One man had a memorable story told about him from World War II. He had been only a teenager when the war began. However, during the course of the war, he trained to be an air force pilot. He must have completed his training in 1945. When news of the armistice came through, he was on the runway, ready to take off on his first combat flight.
I could only imagine the strong mixed feelings he must have felt. Not to be flying into harm’s way must have been a relief. Yet to miss out on risking himself for his country, as so many others had done, would have been a major disappointment.
To risk one’s life in a valuable endeavour is sometimes appropriate, and an honour.
The glory of God is a valuable endeavour! The psalmist considers God’s blessings and asks what he can do in return – not as a repayment (which would be impossible), but as a thank offering. To risk his very life is not far from his mind, as verse 15 shows.
Risking death for the gospel will be rare for us in Australia. But do we have opportunities to hazard our time, money, relationships and reputations in the effort to advance God’s glory in the world. When my earthly pilgrimage is finished, I do not want to be left on the runway feeling that I could have risked more for Christ.
Thank you, Father, for your wonderful benefits to us through your Son. We know that we can never repay you. But we ask you to make us so grateful, that we want to risk ourselves for your glory. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Rev Andrew Schmidt