The Real Thing

All I wanted was an icy cold can of Coke.

The heat of the Perth summer sun angrily glared down at me and despite my best efforts there was no way I could escape its clutches. I decided that if I couldn’t cool down on the outside, I’d find refreshing relief by pouring down that liquid gold on the inside!

I headed to the local Caltex station believing I had enough in the bank for one can of Coke. I took one out of the fridge and placed it on the counter before holding my card to the machine. To my horror the transaction was declined! Not able to face the pain of saying goodbye, I left the can on the counter and trudged down the road.

On my way home I cried out to God: “Lord I know it really doesn’t matter, but I just really, really would love a can of Coke!”.

As soon as I walked through the front gate someone I barely recognised walked up to me and said, “someone wanted me to give this to you”. In his hands was a frosted can of Coca-Cola! I couldn’t believe it! God heard my whimpy insignificant prayer about nothing!

‘When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me’ – Psalm 86:7 (NIV)

Although it wasn’t the heat of the scorching Perth sun, Paul experienced a great amount of heat from those who opposed him:

‘When we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn [with] conflicts on the outside [and] fears within’ – 2 Corinthians 7:5-7 (NIV)

Paul needed something to refresh him in his distress. So just as God sent someone to me right when I ‘needed’ it, so God sent Titus to bring comfort to Paul:

‘But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus… and by the comfort you had given him, so my joy was greater than ever’ (7:6-7)

Although God comforts us through the Holy Spirit, He will often do this through people who act on His behalf. God will use you to bring refreshment to people around you, just as the church in Corinth refreshed Titus:

‘His spirit has been refreshed by all of you’ (7:13b)

You play a key part in God’s business of refreshment. Never doubt your value to those around you as you make yourself available to give something even better than the ‘real thing’!

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