By Royal Appointment

While preparing for one of our meetings, I noticed one of our members unpacking a gigantic bag of Yorkshire Tea. Having a number of regulars from that county, we do like to show willing, providing them with a few native comforts after they have crossed the border. As we serve tea to people at least four times per week, I guess we get through a lot of tea bags.

I noticed upon it the emblem of the Prince of Wales’ feathers, which was the current King’s former title. His household at Clarence House had evidently been purchasing this tea for three years or more, so the firm is allowed to bear his crest. Assuming his recent elevation has not altered his tea-drinking habits, Taylors of Harrogate may well be able to bear an even nobler insignia on their future packaging. For we ordinary folk, such royal warrants bespeak a product’s quality; if it is good enough for Wales’ Prince or Great Britain’s King, it is good enough for Joe Meatball and Sally Housecoat.

If we Christians had our heavenly King’s royal warrant on a product, would we be more inclined to own it? Some churches and preachers claim Christ’s warrant is stuck to prosperity and perfect health, yet His real disciples know otherwise. The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3:10-11:

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (New King James Version)

By suffering in this life, the Christian shares fellowship with Christ, the Suffering Servant. Suffering has upon it His royal warrant, His seal of approval, His badge of authenticity. Trials and tribulations are the Christians’ lot, for it was the way of their Lord, in whose footsteps they tread. The next time you go through troubles, ask not why the Lord makes you suffer, but marvel at how little suffering He has permitted thus far. Our earthly King drinks Yorkshire tea, and so may we. Our heavenly King drank from the cup of sorrows, and so shall we, though our swigs and quaffs certainly vary from one to another, and He never makes us take more than we are able to swallow.