One Thing After Another

March 12, 2018
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2 Corinthians 11:27 – I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. (NLT)

With a sigh, my wife called to tell me that the garbage disposal unit under our kitchen sink had broken. This was just the beginning.

For four years, we've rented our patio townhouse. Not long after moving here, we noticed various types of repair trucks were regular visitors in our neighbourhood. Our trouble had been minimal … until the garbage disposal stopped working.

Knowing very little about garbage disposals, I pushed the reset button to see if it would restart. No luck. The next day, my wife called to let me know that all the water had not drained from the dishwasher. I took a look. Good reason. The dishwasher drains through the garbage disposal. The next morning, I heard gurgling in the commodes when the washing machine reached the spin cycle. When I returned home for lunch, my wife informed me that the microwave had broken.

I've experienced "one thing after another" episodes before, but these breakdowns came too close together. And I almost forgot. These breakdowns were preceded by the news that our landlady was planning to sell our unit. We would have to move.

Compared to Paul's one-thing-after-another list in today's verse, mine seemed tame — but aggravating nonetheless. Any season of endless disappointments or trials always is. When Paul stopped persecuting the church and started promoting it, things heated up. Most of the heat came from his own people, who didn't believe what he was preaching about Jesus.

Sin not only affects people, but it also affects things, causing breakdowns or wearouts. God allows the one-thing-after-another episodes in our lives, but knowing that doesn't make them any easier to endure, unless I remember that He's also in control. My response is paramount. I can become angry, disillusioned, and despondent, or I can take each hit with the same attitude that Paul did: "I have learned how to be content with whatever I have" (Philippians 4:11b NLT). Regardless of the circumstances, he rejoiced in the Lord always.

I haven't mastered Paul's attitude completely, but I'm closer now than I have been in the past. Knowing how to respond properly when the one-thing-after-another episodes hit is a work in progress … but one that God will help me to learn if I ask.

When one thing after another hits your life, trust God for the wisdom to carry on with a good attitude.

Prayer: Father, You are our guiding light. We will trust You regardless of our circumstances. Amen.

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Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Ah, choices…

    Hi Martin,
    Good words.

    Good day Martin,
    This helped me, thank you.

    Perhaps having to move was the best plan! Good word Martin.

    Thank you, Martin, for sharing your season of trials and the lesson you’ve drawn from it. You blessed my morning. Blessings.

    Thank you, Martin. What a litany of disasters.
    I needed that reminder in the midst of a heavy deadline week.
    The time I went into the kitchen to find water spouting upwards from the kitchen sink and had to call security was the beginning of a nightmare year where God was totally with me and all ended for the best.

    Greetings Martin,
    Thanks for a great devotional this morning. How fortunate we are that we can go to our Lord when things pile up on us, one thing after another. He is always there to listen to us as we pour out our feelings and frustrations. Knowing that He is listening we can feel relieved and His assurance helps us face whatever comes up next.

    Hmm Martin – I never thought about sin affecting “things” before. When I returned home last year, one thing after another broke at my house. You know how they say things happen in cycles of 3? Well, I surpassed, 3, 6, 9 then started to jokingly say, “Maybe God is telling me to sell my house!” The events continued 12, 15… hmmm “maybe God IS telling me to sell my house!” The house is now listed. There has been little interest so far, but I’m not concerned. God gave me the list price too. It will sell in His time. Thank you for making me think about “things” and “sin”.

    Dear Martin
    Thank you for sharing your “one after another” trials. I’ve been experiencing this as well with my home. We have new owners for our apartments and we are receiving bullying and harassment to move. We know what they are doing is illegal and we do have the Landlord and Tenants Board behind us. I have truly found my peace in knowing that Jesus is holding my right hand, the Holy Spirit has my back and the Father overwatches everything. It doesn’t get any better than that!
    I truly do hope that all goes very well with you and your wife with the move and your new home will be all that you could ask.

    I can identify with some of this for sure!! I am curious, how did it turn out … repairs done and then you moved or did the house sell? Amazing how God has us go through things in order to help others along the way. In church a lady shared she got a phone call about a house. What got me is she said the house was ok, needed some work but when they found the place she thanked God for a home for her, hubby and children. I have to believe God has a better place for them, in His timing. Needless when I started reading your devotional my eyes kind of popped.
    God bless and thanks again.

    Thank you, Martin. As I read your devotionals, it is becoming increasingly evident to me that you and I think very much alike.
    Bless you as you share the thoughts our wonderful God gives to you.

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