Listen to this devotional:
Isaiah 1:18 – "Come now, let us settle the matter," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." (NIV)
When my husband and I were college students, we needed a chesterfield. There was a bargain on sale in Eaton's in Montreal, and the price was good, so we took it. It was a miserable pale brown colour, and I always deplored the look of the thing sitting in my living room. I hated it and always wanted to get rid of it. Instead of being thankful that the Lord had provided us with a chesterfield at a great price, I was full of pride and thought that I deserved better. After my husband's graduation, we moved from Montreal to a small village in Nova Scotia, and even then, each time I walked into my living room, I would harp about the chesterfield and threaten to throw it out some day.
One morning, our little boy, who always had regular health problems, woke quite ill with a high temperature and swollen joints and glands. We were told that he probably had arthritis, and he was placed on a drug to help relieve his symptoms. The medication seemed to help, for which we were thankful, but later on in the fall, once again, he became unwell and was admitted to our local hospital. One morning, his doctor met me in the hall and told me how sorry he was, but he felt it necessary to transfer our son to Halifax, fearing our little boy had leukemia.
Our hearts were broken on that cold December morning, when, leaving our other two dear little children behind, we drove over the mountains, with our precious son wrapped up warmly, sitting with me in the back seat. He was very sick and tired, and imagined he was playing hockey in the back yard, and asked me, "Mom, do you hear the kids playing? Mom, do you hear what I hear?" My heart stood still. I felt that it was God's angels he could hear, and they were coming to take him from us.
After spending three weeks at the hospital with tests and more tests, it was finally decided that our dear little boy did not have leukemia but rather a reaction to the drug that had been prescribed to help him for the possible arthritis. They discontinued the drug and allowed us to go home for Christmas.
It was the morning of Christmas Eve, and when I walked into my living room from the hospital with my little boy, the tree had been put up, to surprise us. There under the window sat the chesterfield — the chesterfield that I had hated with a passion. But today, my chesterfield looked wonderful, great, fantastic! God had not only spared me my son to return home with me, but He had also taught me, at the young age of 32, a great lesson: that material things are not important. What are more important in life are the gifts of life, love, peace, and the everlasting assurance that He provides for us. That night when we had our devotions, we realized as a family how much our Lord loved us when He was willing to give His very own Son and then watch Him die on Calvary on our behalf. His heart must also have been broken, just as mine was when I had stood at the foot of our little boy's bed, not knowing if we would bring him home alive. Yet once again, we had been touched by His love and carried through the watery waves to a beach of safety. He is a wonderful Lord; I know, for He has rescued me over and over.
Do you hear what I hear? I hear God saying, Repent of your sins; give your life to Me, and I will restore you and make you well. I will wash you whiter than snow, claim you as My very own child, and teach you what the important things in life really are.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are a Lord of compassion and love, allowing us to endure trials and tribulations, but never leaving or forsaking us. We thank You for the guidance You so kindly provide, and ask that as a people, we will hear Your beckoning call, repent, and serve You as Lord and King. Amen.