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Today I have been signing my life away. Or at least, that’s how it feels. I have been asked to act as guarantor for someone. Whilst I know them and trust them and I have no reason to doubt that they will pay what they owe it still felt a bit ‘gulp’ when I clicked ‘send’ on the form because I was committing myself to pay what someone else owed and I have not got complete control over the situation because I am relying on the other person’s integrity and honesty.

As part of the process I needed to give details of someone else who would act as a reference for me to act as guarantor for the person who was taking out the contract. I wondered whether the referee would also need someone to act as referee for them, and so on, until we found someone who worked for the company that was asking for all of these references and guarantees – the Ultimate Referee.

In life there are no guarantees. The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible is full of examples of this, such as: “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12).

That is a fairly fatalistic approach to life which the ‘Teacher’ (possibly Solomon) who is philosophising on life through the book finds depressing until he finds that there is an Ultimate Referee in whom things make more sense.

Jesus said similar things in the Sermon on the Mount (from Matthew 6):

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It’s good to know that there’s an Ultimate Referee in whom we can trust.

Be blessed, be a blessing

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