Top of the morning to ya, and the rest of the day to meself!
- Milton (O'Reilly) Resh
Thursday marks the observance of St. Patrick's Day throughout the Christian world, Although many traditions are celebrated on this day in St. Patrick's honor, what gets lost many times is the story of the man himself and why he did what he did in life. St. Patrick's story is a remarkable account of God's providential hand leading and guiding a young man from an escape from his master whom he had been in service to for almost six years to the return back to the land of his captors in order to bring the liberating message of Jesus Christ. The entire story can be read in his letter entitled Declaration. St. Patrick's story is a great example of a life surrendered to God and God using that life for His glory.
St. Patrick's story is an example of how we may look at our own lives as small and insignificant, but how God can take a small seed and turn it into a mighty vine! The seed that St. Patrick planted in Ireland during his life eventually became a vine that saved Western civilization many years later! Because of his faithfulness, Christianity was saved from extermination in Europe!
I was reminded of Paul and his "chance" landing on the island of Malta. He was on his way to Rome as a prisoner and had been in a hurricane for almost two weeks. The storm had blown the ship off course and death seemed imminent. God appeared to Paul and gave him directions for the preservation of everyone who was on the ship whether good or bad! Following God's directions to the letter, Paul and the occupants of the ship all made it safely ashore. Once upon the shore, they discovered the island was Malta. It was here where they recuperated and were used by God as they awaited transportation to resume their journey.
Two thousand years later, the island of Malta still commemorates and reflects the "chance" landing of Paul. Christianity still thrives on the island, and there are many churches and sites bearing Paul's name and story. As we reflect on these type of men and their work and sacrifice, may we be inspired to trust God as he directs every detail of our lives. May we plant a seed that one day will bring about the salvation not only of individual souls, but also of nations as well!
Go mbeannaí Dia duit,