How To Get Ready For Anything

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Is All The World To Me"1 (Lyrics)

James 1:2-4 – Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete. (NLT)

My son was banned from every hospital in our area for bribing orderlies to bring in street drugs for him as a patient. "What do we do now?" I asked our family doctor. "Try another town where they don't know him," he said. We drove many miles as our son lay screaming in anger on the back seat of our car. Fortunately, he had been diagnosed with a chronic condition that kept him from pursuing any more obvious criminal activities.

Perhaps, he'd been injured in a forceps delivery at birth? Nothing showed up as I took him to therapists and psychiatrists, time after time, only to have them refuse to see him any further. Then, one long August day, smoking while on an oxygen tank, he phoned every member of our family, berating them and accusing them of things only in his mind, then drank himself to death through the night.

The church choir where he and his brother suffered abuse bears some responsibility for his condition, but not all. His brother and sister grew up to become caring adults in helping professions. Still, I found no answers for this, my central grief. Then, a woman spoke to me of her son suffering in prison. As I took her hand, a purpose began to emerge from all that I'd been through. Sorrow for the sons that we had never stopped loving had walked us both down the very depths of pain where hope seemed gone. Addictions? Crimes? Here I am. I, too, have lost a child to darkness. King David had a son like mine. Judas Iscariot had a mother. Judgment is easy. Understanding is impossible without God.

We all have trouble. The testimony of many is that God is able to work new understandings and new beginnings out of what seem like disasters, if we remain open to God's presence and promises. Without His strength, we cannot produce any endurance, let alone enough to change our lives and deepen our trust in the God of miracles. Knowing that He can and will work with our tribulation and pain continues to grow our understanding like nothing else ever could.

Psalm 30:5b – Weeping may go on all night, but in the morning there is joy. (TLB)

Prayer: Dear Father, we know that You understand, having borne our burdens through the undeserved death of Your sinless only Son, Jesus. We ask You to teach us today what we need to know to serve You better. Open our eyes to Your truth and to the opportunities that You give us to share the burdens of others. We are grateful for the possibility of joy in all suffering and for the growth of patient endurance. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing that Rose.

    Praying for you and thank you for your message. A mom

    Thank you for sharing your story and your encouragement!

    Thanks for sharing that story, Rose. May God bless you and your family.

    What a beautiful, powerful devotional. Thank you for writing it.

    What beautiful writing. God has led you to help others and I am praying for you.

    Thanks for good word today Rose. I understand your heartache only too well.

    Tough stuff! Thanks for courageousness to share and communication of hope and promise. Blessings.

    Your devotional to-day moved me to tears. Your faith is way beyond anything I will ever know. I thank God for your strength and love for your family and pray He will bless you and your family every day.

    Oh my gosh Rose! It must have been very difficult to share your story today. I pray that God will use it to speak to others who have suffered similar circumstances. God is blessing you to be a blessing to others. Keep writing!

    Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us. Raw and powerful truth yet a hope-filled message much needed in the world we live in.

    Dear Rose, how heartbreaking! I can’t begin to imagine the horrors and pain you endured. Your testimony of finding hope in the midst of darkness touched my heart deeply. Thank you for sharing your experience with us while pointing us to the source of all hope, Jesus Christ. Blessings.

    Dear Rose De Shaw,
    Thank you for being brave, and for writing of your experience.
    I pray that God will continue to strengthen you with the Word of God and the presence of God and the fellowship of fellow Christians.
    Thank you for choosing to help others.

    Hi Rose,
    When I read your devotional this morning Job 23:10 immediately came to my mind. (But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold)
    I think I see gold on you Rose, and it’s beautiful! Thank you for strengthening us with your testimony of pain, hope, patience, and endurance, God bless!

    Dear Rose:
    Thank you so very much for writing this absolutely beautiful devotional. I thank God that my parents stuck with me when I was living a life of hell on earth. Now when I look back I feel as though God was with me too; but also, the knowledge I gained from my experiences, I pray, have helped others. I wish I could do more today.
    God bless you and bless you with that peace that passes all understanding Rose.

    Good morning Rose!
    Just breaks my heart to read about the agony of you and your son.
    I would say the abuse has much of the responsibility of what happened, because we are all wired differently. Thank Heaven for that!
    Your story does confirm to us that the richest blessing we can share with others comes as a result of our own painful experiences.

    Thank you for sharing Rose, God bless you!

    Hi Rose,
    My heart went out to you as I read your devotional. As a pastor, over the last two years, I have led two funeral services for two beautiful, intelligent young men who I did what I could to help them with their addictions (one with one year clean time). There was much pain, but I realize only a small portion of the pain a mother experiences who has lost a son. God cries with you.

    Dear Rose,
    Thank you for sharing this intense pain that you have experienced. As we try to understand why such pain exists and share with others it opens our hearts to look around and walk this path with others who have endured this pain or who are enduring it presently. As you said, “we all have trouble”.
    I especially liked your comment “Judas Iscariot had a mother”. When Paul Bernardo’s awful crimes were discovered I immediately thought of his parents and the agony they must have felt to realize what their son had done. Only God knows the circumstances that lead to such behaviour. We have to trust in His ways.

    You are in my thoughts today. You are such an inspiration to me! I found an old email from you, suggesting that I read this devotional. I continue to strengthen my relationship with the Lord.
    I hope you are well and staying warm this winter. I stumbled onto Andrew’s devotional about you earlier…what a lovely sentiment.
    Prayers, my friend.

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