There is an old hymn named “Showers of Blessing”. The words are:
Showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need.
Mercy drops ’round us are falling,
but for the showers we plead.
In my teens my Pastor’s grandson, Tony, was my best-friend; so I spent much time in and around the “Parsonage” (Pastor’s house for those who don’t speak Southern.) Pastor Roy Miller was a merry heart and loved pranks, stories, and jokes – when appropriate. I remember one day that Tony and I were playing indoors and I overheard him singing the following song.
Showers of money, showers of money we need.
Nickels and dimes ’round us are falling,
But for the the green-backs we plead.
As I was reading the book of Philemon I noticed that Paul was euphemistically referencing the topic of giving.
I myself have gained much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because your kindness has so often refreshed the hearts of God’s people. – Philemon 1:7
How would a slave-owner (a wealthy man) refresh the hearts of God’s people? The answer is by supplying their material needs.
While in prison, Paul was responsible for a runaway slave named Onesimus coming to the Lord. This slave was owned by Philemon.
Roman law was quite severe when it came to runaway slaves.
Runaway slaves were branded on the forehead with letters denoting the slave as a runaway (FUG) which was an abbreviation of “fugitivus,” meaning “runaway”. The deliberate breaking of the joints or bones was also a punishment inflicted on runaway slaves.
So, after praising Philemon, Paul went on to ask for a Shower of Blessing from his friend and child in the Lord.
He is no longer just a slave; he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a slave and as a brother in the Lord.
So if you consider me your partner, give him the same welcome you would give me if I were coming. – Philemon 1:16-17
This is no nickel and dime request. No, Paul is asking for green-backs. He is asking for Philemon to forgive a great debt.
If he has harmed you in any way or stolen anything from you, charge me for it. I, Paul, write this in my own handwriting: “I will repay it.” And I won’t mention that you owe me your very soul! – Philemon 1:18-19
How much is a soul worth?
Church history goes on to show that Onesimus was welcomed and the matter was forgiven.
Due to this letter from Paul, Philemon indeed accepted Onesimus as a brother and freed him of slavery. Onesimus was later appointed as bishop of Ephesus following the Apostle Timothy. – Wikipedia.org
I suspect that I’ll never be called upon to make such a huge financial decision for the kingdom of Christ. But should that happen, I pray that I’ll be like Philemon and remember the price that was paid for my soul.
Lord, thank you for showers of blessing. May I never forget them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Green-backs please. Jan