Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Rejoice Ye Pure In Heart"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 4:17 – These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won't last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God's richest blessing upon us forever and ever! (TLB)
During World War II, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers built a much-needed highway through Canada connecting Alaska to the contiguous United States. It wasn't yet paved or open to the public, but my father decided to take our family down it in our 25-year-old station wagon with pre-war tires, to see my grandmother. Although he had told my mother that it was just a little holiday, he had sold our house, closed their bank account, and stashed the cash in my mother's purse in an unmarked envelope without telling her. Unfortunately, she always took her purse along when using the bushes as a washroom. About three days out, hurrying to respond to one of us children, she left it behind. Not till that evening did she miss it, but that purse was gone forever, lying somewhere miles back among the identical trees and underbrush lining that empty road, with no possibility of ever finding it again. There were no other cars, people, gas stations, or businesses — just endless wilderness — and us, utterly alone, though not forsaken: God still cared for us.
Mother prayed as we drove slowly on, a tire blowing out every so often on the rough gravel road. As my father stopped to change it, he considered what to do next. He knew what he had to offer: he had never met an engine or anything mechanical that he couldn't fix. Just before we ran out of gas, he turned down the first dirt road that branched off, and we came to a farm. My father went in and offered to go to work for the farmer, repairing any broken farm machinery that he might have, as well as working as a hired hand, if the farmer would feed and house the six of us while he did it. The farmer agreed, and we spent most of the next month in his attic, eating our way through fresh eggs, milk, cheese, and vegetables.
At that time, my father was not practicing the H.O.W. of living life: H.onesty, O.penness and W.illingness. How different that adventure would have been if he had been honest. It is a lesson for us all.
Proverbs 11:3 – A good man is guided by his honesty; the evil man is destroyed by his dishonesty. (TLB)
On the other hand, my father was example for us all about being persistent in the face of adversity.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 – We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don't know why things happen as they do, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. (TLB)
I learned from my father that God has equipped each of us for the work that He gives us to undertake in our lives, and He also gives us the strength and understanding to do it. But He asks us for honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness to follow His commandments, if we are to stay out of unnecessary trouble.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, give us courage and wisdom to do Your will as we find and accept the abilities and talents that You have given to each of us. We are grateful that You have left no one out of Your gifting and that all gifts are equal in Your sight. Help us to deal honestly with one another, openly and willingly. Thank You that our lives have meaning and purpose as we walk with You today. Amen.