“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” – Psalm 118.1From David King:
Last Sunday we had our gift day for mission. One of the mission societies with which we have a long history as a church is SAMS (the South American Mission Society). The founder of the society was a man called Captain Allen Gardiner RN.
My family has a long connection with SAMS and recently one of my sisters told me about a talk on anxiety by Tim Keller in which he refers to Allen Gardiner. In it we see a surprising vision of the goodness of God. He sets out, in the talk, how Psalm 34 helps us with our anxiety by encouraging us to find our joy in the ‘one thing’, which is God. Let me quote what he said,
“Or there was an English missionary named Allen Gardiner. In 1851 he was on his way to South America to start a new mission, and he was shipwrecked on a very remote island. He and his companions tried their very best to stay alive until somebody came to find them, but nobody did. Finally he died, far away from everybody, far away from his loved ones, far away from his family, dying of thirst, dying of hunger. A horrible, horrible way to go.
When they finally discovered his body they found right next to his body was his quiet time notebook, his journal. They opened it up, and they saw on the very last page, he had written out Psalm 34:10. This is what it says: “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” Right underneath it, the last words he penned were, “I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God.”
Huh? What do you mean, “I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God?” Why wasn’t he mad? Why wasn’t he angry? Why wasn’t he scared? Because he had the “one thing,”[God] and there was nothing to be afraid of. Don’t you see it’s your only hope? Come and get it. Dwell. Gaze. Seek.”
“The Problem of Anxiety” 24/10/1993, Tim Keller
The Sermon can be found in full here: https://gospelinlife.com/downloads/the-problem-of-anxiety-6286/