Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"1 (Lyrics)

Philippians 2:12-13 – Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (ESV)

Recently, Caroline managed to snag her engagement ring, caught in her coat. The central ruby was lost somewhere on the floor at college.

Being well acquainted with my role as a husband, I took the ring off to the goldsmith to get it mended. The goldsmith informed me that the ruby had been lost because over time, the gold collar that secured it had worn down at the edge. If a new jewel were to be set in securely, it would require a new gold collar as well as the new gem. As a concerned husband, I knew that it was a part of her identity, so the cost was incidental, and I think that the goldsmith perceived it.

I wondered whether the new ruby in its setting would be a comparable replacement with which Caroline would be pleased. The goldsmith assured me that the gem and his replacement work would be better than the original, because to him, it was not that good a ring. Ouch.

I was perturbed, paying out serious money in the lead-up to Christmas, but the goldsmith did a good job, and the ring now has a new deep-red ruby replacement and collar. I trusted that God would sort the finances out somehow, which He did.

Then, after a busy time in the new year, I had to attend the monthly gathering of a Christian leadership course. By the end of the day of sessions, I felt worn down by all the doing.

As an old man amongst the young, I was downhearted because, unlike the others, I had arrived with fewer personal resources than when I had begun some forty years before, so I felt that I had less to give. Although God is good, when it comes to starting new things like leading and helping others into the kingdom, it appeared to be a daunting task. Where had God's love for the lost and the unloved gone in my cosy life?

So the next Sunday, I stood in church with a heavy heart, in the knowledge that, before God, I was coming up short. As others worshipped, I laid before Him my depleted condition. If He wanted me to continue, taking on new challenges with diminishing mental and physical resources, reaching out to the lost, it was crucial for Him to do something, as I felt that I had nothing.

As I stood there, into my prayers came a picture of the goldsmith and Caroline's ring repair, better than the original. I saw the new ruby in its new setting, repaired, all bright and shiny. God showed me that He wanted to minister to the worn-out setting in my heart, to rebuild and to replace the gem of God's love for those to whom He would take me. He had already paid the price; it was not me but Him through me that mattered. Wow! I was overwhelmed!

I guess that God had known my situation before Christmas, but it required time for me to get the message of my need. I trust that now, I can have the confidence to work prudently in His strength and not be afraid of burn-out.

For those of us practiced Christians working hard, finding life a bit uphill, may I suggest that you ask God into the situation? Hand it over; be honest. See what happens!

Prayer: Lord, thank You for saving us, for being The Rock, our firm foundation. Please forgive us when we get sidetracked from Your calling in our lives and take it upon ourselves to be the light of the world. Please walk with us again in the way in which we should go. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickhenrymarshall@gmail.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    May it be so, Rod.

    Thanks, Rod… the devotional was perfect.

    Thanks, Rod, for giving us hope as we age.

    Beautiful devotional today Rod. Thank you!

    Lovely, Rod! You’re shining bright as any jewel.

    Thanks Rod. We really appreciated your jewellery devotional.

    God knows how to speak to us in personal ways to get our attention. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Rod, thank you for such a powerful and inspiring devotional and sharing your honesty with others. Blessings to all.

    Thanks for the sound advice today, Rod. I needed to hear it. God bless you as you continue to serve Him and others.

    Still recovering from an injury and grateful for your message. I have felt that lately I was doing nothing of use to anyone, let alone God!

    Rod – I LOVED this devotional. I have been struggling with a similar emotional depletion. Thank you for the encouragement. May God continue to bless your ministry.

    Oh my! You have no idea hope appropriate this reading is for me today. It is exactly what God is doing in my life right now. Thank you for sharing this and so glad it came TODAY.

    Hi Rod
    Good stuff, as usual; challenging in the call to be ever-new and ready for God to transform.

    Sure speaks to me, Roderick. I read it several times before I wrote to thank you. Yes to the old and worn out. Grateful for your sharing truth today in this inspired and unforgettable devotional. Helps me.

    Thank you Rod.
    Your morning thoughts, rings a loud bell in me, and wakes me up.
    Yes, we all need to get refreshed now and then and get our ministry reloaded with new feelings and energy, like putting in new batteries into our heart.
    Keep up your ministry, and thanks for your contributions.

    Thanks for this. It emphasized for me, the primacy of community, for it is there that we become separate, diverse, but essential parts of The Body of Christ. Hang in there – God isn’t finished with us oldies yet!
    Many blessings on your life and contributions to DD!

    It’s the confidence of ‘working prudently in His strength’ that really rings true in my mind. I tend to slip in knowingly into using my own strength, as if it were limitless like His! Thank you Rod for this beautiful analogy. You are truly anointed in your way of describing human foibles and pitfalls. May your whole life be deeply blessed – you and your whole family of loved ones, as you have blessed so many others.

    Thank you for your daily devotional Rod. Burnout often causes me to step back and rest and lately health issues forced me to reduce my volunteer work and reflect on how God is asking me to serve at this time in my life. I do think things have changed in this manner although my heart want me to go on.
    I pray for strength for you and wisdom to know how God wants you to serve.
    Always you seem to me to be a very giving person and maybe as we age we need to make space to care for ourselves first to be able to help others.
    Surely God asks this of us as well.
    Peace and good will,
    (Ontario, Canada)

    Dear Rod,
    You don’t know what a blessing your devotional was for me today. I had a heavy heart over some issues of work and life that I have worried and prayed about for the last year. As I was waiting for the bus tonight, I was praying, “When are you, in all this Lord?” and didn’t seem to find any answers….and the answer was right in your Devotional today….put Jesus at the center of this situation, and let the Master sort it out, and aIl I need is to be obedient to His will, as it unfolds over time.
    I always love what you right for Daily. So down to earth, and always so right on target.
    As I type this, I’m smiling for the first time in many days over this issue…and I’ll sleep tonight with a light heart! Your words have lifted a load off my heart, because I know Jesus will answer my prayer, in His own way, and His own time. Thank you for your words today!

    Your words/analogy were my morning meal, lifting my spirits and energizing me throughout the day. How tender and personal your ring story experience was… a compassionate and loving message sent from your Heavenly Father. How wonderful that He could use it through you to minister to others. Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you, Rod, for sharing this devotional with us. It truly met today’s need. Blessings.

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