The Secret

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Lover Of My Soul"1 (Lyrics)

The goats are going away today, not forever, but probably until the fall. Friends have an acreage with a large, securely fenced pasture, full of tall, lush grass, and they asked if the goats could go and stay with them and clear this field.

This is a wonderful opportunity for the goats, but I will definitely miss the antics of my three mischievous friends and their greetings each day as I go down to the corral. Their absence will leave a hole in my life. But the goats will have the opportunity to graze freely, morning, noon, and night — which is truly a goat's delight.

As I was considering this opportunity, I thought about other times in my life when much-loved people or creatures have moved on, either for a season or for good. Depending upon the situation, such times can be very difficult. They call for adjustment and change. They often bring sadness, and they always demand courage to face them with a good attitude.

During one such episode years ago, I was asking God to help me deal with the loneliness that I was experiencing, when these thoughts entered my mind: Be thankful for this wonderful opportunity that they have. Be thankful for all the new people and lessons and opportunities that lie ahead for them in this new situation. Wow! What a turn of events as I considered this new perspective! Suddenly, the situation was no longer about me, but about them. As my prayers changed from self-absorption to thanksgiving for all the opportunities which were now theirs, my loneliness decreased markedly. God had shown me a secret. It wasn't a new secret. In fact, it was a very old secret. It is the secret which Paul wrote about so long ago:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Today, none of us knows what may come. But each of us can rest assured that amidst any losses that we may now be enduring or that the future may bring, we can honestly partake in giving thanks, especially if we focus not upon the loss, but upon the new opportunities that will lie before those whom we miss. And in giving such thanks, we will also find the unexpected blessing of joy returning to our hearts amidst our pain. I think that that is a secret worth embracing, don't you?

Prayer: Father God, thank You so much that Your Word is always true and doable. Bless us this day, as in obedience we strive to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is Your will for us in Christ Jesus, in Whose name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    I’ll miss your goats too!

    Thank you for a good reminder.

    Give thanks in all circumstances.

    Amen, Lynne. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

    Enjoyed your devotional today. God bless you and all your work.

    Thanks, Lynne. Another fine devotional. I look forward to your goats returning!

    Great message Lynne! Offering thanks to God is the secret to many blessings.
    Keep writing!

    Hi Lynne,
    I’m not “kidding” when I say, thanks for the “a-grazing” devotional!
    God bless you.

    My cousin fell and broke her hip and now will not get to attend the funeral of her grandson. I shared you devotional which came just at the right time. He is an on-time God.

    Thank you, Lynne, for today’s message. I find your Thessolanians reference to be one of those “easy to say but difficult to do” verses in scripture. Loved you story about the goats!

    Good morning, Lynne,
    Thank you so much for your reminder of the importance of thanking our Lord at all times of our lives. It is a message I have sought to pass on to my own family for years now – rising up to a new day, welcoming food to the table, experiencing a safe journey, meeting friends old and new, avoiding an accident suddenly, etc.!
    May you continue to bless us with your inspirational writings long into the future.

    Hi Lynne;
    Thank you so much for your timely words of wisdom. I am going through a similar experience right now. My mother, whom we have been living with, is in a retirement living facility, and at one point in time, a decision has to be made regarding the house that we live in. I remember when my mother first asked us to move in with her, if she bought a house with a granny apartment after her husband passed away. I was hesitant at first. We have a view of the water from our front living room and kitchen windows. Whereas at the back of the house is forest, no one living behind us. We have the best of both worlds, as they say. I love living here, but I also know that my time here is running out. I find myself anxious and wondering what the future will hold. But then your words, this morning, were balm to my mind. I went outside, and with tears in my eyes, I conveyed my fears to the One that keeps everything in order. I thanked God for the time that I have in this place, and left the rest in His very capable hands. He already knows what will happen, I just have to let go and trust in Him. Thank you.

    I must thank you for your devotional today. I cannot but believe it was meant for me. My grandson, whom I helped to raise told me he is moving to Ontario soon. He is my only grandchild and we have always had a special bond. This is really an answer to my prayers over the years because he was away from his natural mother for years. God has truly answered my prayers though it has been many years.
    He is so precious to me but what wonderful time the Lord is giving them. I’m 85 and as I come to the time when I will be going home to be with the Lord, I have this marvellous answer to my prayers.
    A miracle has transformed his heart.

    Hi Lynne,
    Thank you for this timely advice.

    Dear Lynne,
    How I’d love free lawn-mowers in my yard!
    Your goats must be getting water as well as grass. Is there a handy river near by?
    To your prayer I say, AMEN!
    Keep writing, for Jesus’ sake.

    Dear Lynne,
    May you take advantage of this new opportunity to do something else in the space given by the goats’ vacation! Perhaps write some more? God is with us regardless of our circumstances. If we can sit still long enough, we may find something new to hear or see.
    May God keep you well and safe in His tender care.

    Dear Lynne,
    I agree with the thought you shared.
    “Everything happens for a reason. Often, only God knows why, and He’s not telling”
    But we definitely get to understand God over time and sometimes, he helps us understand through people and circumstances.

    Hi Lynne,
    We seem to think along similar lines.
    Bless you in all of your writing.

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