The Big Bonfire

Bonfire night is still a part of our heritage here in Newfoundland Labrador, although many restrictions have been put in place by municipalities and government. As children, at school,  we would talk about the big bonfire we had the previous Guy Fawkes Night. Someone would always try to lay claim to the largest fire and talk about the number of tires they had piled in the fire.

When our son was around 12 years old, him and a group of friends spent weeks preparing for their bonfire. He would come home and talk about the number of tires they had and other materials they had gathered. We warned him about being careful and not to place any propane tanks, aerosol cans or explosive items in the fire. We should have been more pro-active in checking out the pile but we were not.

The fire was huge and aerosol cans were flying like missiles through the woods. Someone called the fire department and they came and got it under control. It was one of the bigger bonfires that I have seen. The heat was so extreme that you had to stand a long way from the actual fire.

There is a story in Daniel 3 about three young men being thrown into a fiery furnace. Their names were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were among the captives who were  brought from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, when he conquered Judah.

They were among those chosen by wise men of Babylon as ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar to be trained to help him rule his people. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were taught in all the knowledge of the Chaldeans. After three years of training they were taken into the king’s palace for His approval.

They proved to be faithful to the king and wise in their rule over those whom they were responsible for. The king was pleased with them, however there were those who were jealous because they had risen to such providence in the Babylonian kingdom.

Christians And Stress

About a month ago I went through a very difficult and stressful situation at work. I’m retired, however I do the maintenance work, as needed, at a small 13 room motel. The motel has new owners and I still look after the maintenance plus I have a few other roles added.

I was asked if I would do the bank deposits. The bank is on  my way home from work so I said yes. Usually there are two or three deposits slips and I have a card that allows me to make deposits to the account. I cannot take money from the account.

One day I received a call that there was a deposit missing. The previous day there were supposed to be four deposits and they only were credited at the bank for three. Did I know what happened to the missing deposit? I was the last person to handle the deposit before it was deposited in the bank. What would you think? I told them that what was in the deposit bag was what was taken to the bank. They know me to be a truthful person but the facts speak for themselves so I went about trying to prove my innocence.

I questioned the person who was responsible for the finances and she was adamant that there were four deposits in the bag. Hindsight tells me that I should have checked before leaving for the bank. She had checked the deposits before passing the bag to me.

We checked with the bank and their records showed that I had made only three deposits. I have to admit that as a Christian I was under some stress. The money had to be somewhere or the person handling the cash had taken it. A number of people knew that the money was missing and I guess they suspected that I had something to do with it.

We have video cameras and I spent hours reviewing videos. There was one suspect. An outside worker who was there when the deposits were being checked and had gone in to the office twice to speak to this employee. The video did not show him in the office, however; it appeared that he stuffed something in his pocket after exiting the office. Also, he went outside and opened the tail gate of my van by accident and realizing what he had done went to his van. My van is white and his is navy. The cameras show him bending down as if he is hiding something.  He appeared to be nervous. Did he take the deposit? I reviewed more video but could find no positive proof that he had taken it. Other people reviewed the video and they came to the same conclusion. There wasn’t enough proof. But he was our suspect.

Eleven days passed and some of the staff were stressed. My wife prayed with me and I had previously claimed a verse from Psalm 85:10,11..Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth;  I had been praying a simple prayer, mercy and truth will prevail.

On the 12th day I went into the motel and the manager said, “they found it”. I said they found what and she said the deposit. Where did they find it? It was in the bank. The bank had made an error.

Now I had been checking to see if the teller, who had served me was still working there. For seven days she was not at work. Did she have something to do with the missing funds? She had been on a weeks holidays. We had been blaming a worker plus the bank teller and they were innocent. The bank did not tell us what happened to the deposit for the eleven days it went missing in the bank.

As Christian’s we face stressful situations the same as non practicing christians. It’s how we handle them makes the difference. I read my bible, I prayed, I claimed a promise and I had someone praying for me. The truth shall set you free. Not only from sin but the effects of stress.

Greater is He that is in me then he who is in the world.  1 John 4:4