James 4:7-8a – Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. (NIV)
One Sunday morning, we were about to leave the house for church when we came to a sudden halt. There was a small puddle on the floor of the mud room. Looking up, we discovered a slow drip from a pipe hidden in the ceiling.
This would not stop us! I mopped up and placed a bucket underneath, while my husband turned off the water supply.
A little behind time, we hurried out to the car. My husband turned the key in the ignition. Nothing. He tried again. We looked at each other, perplexed. The car had worked just fine the day before.
Silently, we thought the situation through. We had two vehicles, but our son had taken the other in order to borrow our lawnmower. He needed the truck to pull the trailer. How could we get to church?
Just at that moment, our son turned in to the field entrance, towing the trailer with the lawnmower on it. We cheered, left the car, and hurried over to greet him.
His face held a look of consternation. "I have bad news for you," he said. "The lawnmower sort of … blew up."
Did we yell, groan, collapse, complain, roll our eyes, or otherwise show our displeasure? We did none of those things. In good humour, we practically pulled our son out of the driver's seat in our haste to be on our way. We quickly uncoupled the trailer, jumped in the truck, and drove off.
Our daughter-in-law pulled in as we were leaving. She had the children with her and was following my son, in order for them to go on to church together. We waved gaily as we passed them, and I caught a glimpse of her face. She wore the same puzzled look as my son, who was still standing and staring, bemused. This was obviously not quite the reception that they had expected.
We arrived at church just in time. As we sat and collected our thoughts for a moment, we began to realize what had happened. The devil had tried to stop us from going to church! In fact, he had tried three times. Then, I'm sure, God said, Enough!
That afternoon, the car started up just fine. The drip was nothing major, and our lawnmower is still limping along, years later. I often hear the complaint, It always seems to happen on a Sunday! Don't give in! Resist the devil, and he will flee from you!
Prayer: Father in heaven, You test us by allowing things to distract us from worshipping and praising You. Help us to stay focused on You, and keep us firm to the end. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Under His Wings" (Lyrics)