Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Come O Come Emmanuel"1 (Lyrics)
Proverbs 3:6 – In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (KJV)
My grandmother wrote this verse on the cover page of the first Bible that she gave to my father. My father did the same in the first Bible that he gave to me, and I did also in the first Bible that I gave to my son. We even have it inscribed on the tombstone for my wife of sixty years who went to be with her Lord last year.
I have tried to follow that wise counsel ever since I made my initial commitment to the Lord as a young boy. But life has had its special challenges.
In 2005, our younger son died from pancreatic cancer at age 41, leaving behind a wife and three children aged 11 to 16. At the funeral service, his older brother affirmed that his brother, a man of God, had his priorities right. He loved God first, then his wife and children, and then his church and music.
The year 2016 was again challenging. In addition to my beloved wife, I lost my older sister and two sisters-in-law. Early in that year, I was also quite distressed by what I felt was the unfair treatment of a missionary of whom my wife and I were very fond. When I discussed this with my son, he said, "Dad, settle down. God is in control, and He knows what He is doing!"
In 2017, my older son's wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and 20 days later, she went to be with her Lord. His mother's death, four months earlier, was expected, but at age 58, his wife's passing was a real test of our faith. Now it was my turn to say to my son, "God is in control, and He knows what He is doing!" My son sat beside me in church last Sunday, and we are both grateful that God is faithful amidst all of life's perplexing occurrences.
Prayer: Dear God, help us each to realize that even when things happen that we don't understand, You remain in control, and You know what is best for us. Help us to remain faithful to the end, knowing that in Your time, we will receive the crown of righteousness. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.