Fool's Gold

Thursday, April 23, 2020
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Listen while you read: "Holy God We Praise Thy Name"1 (Lyrics)

When my brothers and I were young, we avidly collected chunks of mica and pyrite. Because the minerals sparkled and were beautiful, we assumed that they were valuable. Pyrite is known as "fool's gold", because its metallic shimmer and gold colour resemble true gold. It was an exciting treasure hunt for children to find these minerals and show them off, but we soon found out that they weren't worth any money!

There are some wonderful lines in Shakespeare's play, The Merchant of Venice (Act 2, Scene 7), about fool's gold. They are the warning written on a picture of death inside a golden jewellery box.

    All that glisters is not gold –
    Often have you heard that told.
    Many a man his life hath sold
    But my outside to behold.
    Gilded tombs do worms enfold.

In these troubling times of the pandemic, many are seriously concerned about unstable international markets, dropping oil prices, shuttered small businesses, and sudden unemployment. Our government is scrambling to find ways to halt the freefall of the economy, and give subsidies for financial relief of those experiencing hard times. It may be hard to see the hand of God in times of hardship and worry.

Job suffered a series of hardships that many of us will never experience: loss of his wealth, his children, and his health. Even when it seemed that God had forgotten him, Job was a true child of God, still longing for His presence, and confident that He was still in charge.

Job 23:9-10 – On the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. (ESV)

Job believed that God had not forgotten him, that He wasn't out to punish him, that the terrible trials had an end date, and that God would bring good out of them all. God still valued Job, for why else would he be put through fire, like gold, if he weren't so loved and precious to Him?

Jesus comforts us with these words:

Matthew 6:31-33 – Therefore do not be anxious, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (ESV)

Know that you are loved, valued, and precious to God. Let us pray and trust Him for all that we need this day and every day.

Prayer: I need Thee, precious Jesus! For I am very poor; a stranger and a pilgrim, I have no earthly store: I need the love of Jesus to cheer me on my way, to guide my doubting footsteps, to be my strength and stay. (Frederick Whitfield, 1829-1904) Thank You, O Lord, that we are so precious to You, and that You are always in charge. Keep our eyes on You. Amen.

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About the author:

Shirley Moulton <>
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Thank you for this encouragement, Shirley.

    Thanks, Shirley, for the encouraging words.

    Thanks for the important reminder Shirley. God bless!

    Thanks for sharing Shirley.
    Comforting devotional. God bless your ministry and family.

    I always knew God is in control. Romans 8:28. But it was really nice to hear it reinforced. Thank you.

    Thank you, Shirley, for a devotional full of hope and promise – and intrigue (your reference to Frederick Whitfield – whom I do not know, yet… and Shakespeare, whom I mistakenly often think I know). What a blessing you are!

    Good morning Shirley,
    These are strange times indeed. You mention about “Fool’s Gold” how appropriate. It seems like all the “Shining” things in our lives, which we have to do without now, are not so important anymore. We discovered that we can do without so many of them. Thank you for writing another good devotional.

    Great devotional again this morning, Shirley!
    When you talked about children discovering fool’s gold, I identified with the ‘false’ joy of such a discovery way back too!
    I particularly appreciated this reminder:
    Know that you are loved, valued, and precious to God. Let us pray and trust Him for all that we need this day and every day.
    Thanks for writing! Your encouragement is a blessing!

    Good Morning and Thank you for your devotional, Shirley. The unique opening of your message struck a special chord for me. As a kid growing up in North Eastern BC, we rode our bikes for a couple of miles to dig mica from a hillside, took a break for a snack and rode back home to wash it and see what designs we’d dug up. One time I found one with two pieces imbedded in each other to form a perfect cross, which I kept for several decades and then as with all things…….it got “lost in the shuffle” of lives many moves. To have created an analogy from your experience was very touching.
    Stay Healthy and Safe.

    Dear Shirley,
    Thank you for a very full and Godly devotional.
    Please pray with me: “O loving Savior, I thank you for your free and total salvation.
    And please cause those scientists working for serum, treatment, injections or cures for the Covid virus to be successful. For Jesus glory. Amen.


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