Heathdale flower 28th May 2021

Do You Know What You’ve Got?

Nanny's reminder when we were ungrateful was, 'You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.'

Heathdale flower

I have to admit my Mum is a bit of a character! She is one of these people who has this incredible ability to lighten the moment and make those around her feel good and loved.

My children really love it when she says to them, ‘I love you and don’t you forget it!’ It’s their favourite Nanny statement.

My favourite Nanny statement was “just remember, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”. If anyone acted with a lack of gratefulness, she was quick to say, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”.

After reading Psalm 42, this saying of mum’s came to mind. As I read these words, I wondered if they were composed out a sense of loss or out of a sense of deeply appreciating God’s presence and love. “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Psalm 42:1 (ESV)

There are times when I seem to forget the fact that God provides enough grace to meet our every need. He provides sufficient grace to forgive every sin as well as provide the grace for our sufferings too. People who have a deep maturity to their faith are constantly aware of this grace and therefore seem to have the ability to hold this thought in the front of their mind. They not only remember what they have in the present, they also long to know God’s grace in all aspects of their daily walk. Fletcher Madeley was such a person.

Fletcher Madeley was a great friend of the English Methodist theologian and evangelist John Wesley. Wesley thought so highly of Madeley, he designated him to be the successor in leading the Methodist people after John Wesley retired. However, as life would have it, Fletcher Madeley passed away before Wesley so he could not take up this role.

The story is told of Madeley that he once made an important public statement on an issue that was being exercised in the minds of the people of the day. By making this public statement he was seen as rendering great service to the Government. A senior and important member of the Government, the Lord Chancellor, dispatched an official to ask Madeley if there was anything his country could do for him as he had served his country well? ‘How kind,’ was Madeley’s response to the official when he delivered the message. ‘But all I want is nothing more than, more grace.’

Imagine the official returning to the Lord Chancellor and reporting: ‘He doesn’t want anything. There’s nothing that appeals to him. He only wants more grace!?!’

This is one of the characteristics that followers of Jesus have who also have a deep and mature faith. They look at the rewards on earth in the light of heaven. They know deep within, that the most valuable thing one can possess on this earth is God’s grace and they seek it enthusiastically. Mature, faithful followers of Jesus are people who remember this and keep it in the front of their mind. They appreciate that it is not enough to know that grace is there or keep it constantly in mind; they also want it more than anything else.

Followers of Jesus continue to seek how to honour and glorify God.

My prayer is that individually and collectively as a community, we can come to know and experience God’s love and grace. Once we have tasted it, individually and collectively we continue to seek, know and share in God’s grace. As this grace flows from God and out through us, others are drawn to Him and experience God’s grace.