Mar 22, 2010

Still Thinking About St. Patrick

photo via creative commons
by Chris Fifield-Smith
Even though St. Patrick's Day was last week, there is still plenty to contemplate when thinking about the life and ministry of this ancient saint. One of things that impresses me is his prayers. When he was kidnapped from his home as a teenager, he says in his Confession that he was not a Christian. He had been raised in a Christian home in an area of Britain where the Christian church survived, but he says that he did not at that time follow God's precepts. He was taken away to a pagan land where he was made to work as a shepherd, alone and without any counsel. And yet, this is where he found God.

How many times have we heard stories about people in a crisis calling on God? Perhaps we've even experienced it ourselves. Maybe it was a ship wreck, or a serious illness, or some other physical danger. I wonder how many of these people would continue to cry out to God if their prayers were not immediately answered. What if it took six years? That's how long Patrick prayed before God showed him how to escape. And during those long, lonely years, he found himself growing ever closer to God. He says:

"...I used to pasture the flock each day and I used to pray many times a day. More and more did the love of God, and my fear of him and faith increase, and my spirit was moved so that in a day [I said] from one up to a hundred prayers, and in the night a like number."

The prayer not only got him through that time and delivered him, the process drew him closer to God and strengthened his faith. I wonder...if it were me, would I give up long before the end of six years? Especially if I had no faith at the beginning? God rewards faithfulness, and he rewarded Patrick's in a way that blessed us all even these many hundreds of years later.

Blog Tour

Several bloggers hosted me during the week of St. Patrick's Day. I thought I'd share the links here in case any of you would like to read them.

Small Leaf Shamrock (scroll down the page.)
Sunnybank Meanderings
Celtic Treasure by Liz Babbs
and again here
Cara Putman's blog
Nicole O'Dell's blog
Favorite PASTimes
Susan Miura's blog
And finally, here's the photo of shamrocks growing in the wild in Ireland that I promised you last week.
photo via creative commons by IrishFireside

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