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Listen while you read: "Just A Closer Walk With Thee"1 (Lyrics)

James 4:14 – Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (NIV)

When I was young, I was lonely, despite being one of four children close in age. My sisters read romance comic books and snuck makeup. Unsupervised, I invented games in that small mountain mining town in northern Washington state, USA. Gathering all the neighbourhood kids that I could find onto someone's stoop, I'd yell, "Dog pile!" and we'd all jump off at the same time, a heap of kids with me on the bottom. But the last time that we played it, my right arm was suddenly going left.

It was not long after World War II, and the hospitals were full of wounded soldiers. The nearest emergency room was at the bottom of a dirt logging road that spiralled down to the river. My uncle held me close to his khaki uniform while my father drove as fast as he could. There, the doctors set my arm and said that I'd have to stay overnight. I was the only kid in that single, multi-soldiered ward. From the pittance that he had left, my father bought me a bottle of strawberry pop. With three siblings, I'd never had one all to myself before. All the injured soldiers chipped in, too, with whatever sweets they had. For a kid from a very poor family, this was like winning the lottery. I'd never even seen any of this stuff before.

As soon as I woke up from the anesthetic, I demanded the pop and proceeded to barf it all right back up, to the dismay of everyone present. But I divided the candy into four neat little piles for me and my sisters. My parents were ecstatic when they came back to get me. What a generous little saint they were raising! I was only obeying what they'd taught me, to share what I had and not complain. Yet that first time, being alone and on my own, trying to get used to being one-armed among strangers, was an opportunity from God to learn patience and endurance, to realize that God can be completely trusted in every event of life, and most of all, to discover that I was not truly alone because God would send good things my way — which I continued to believe even as we got even poorer. My father lost his job in the mines, and my mother wasn't able to teach school. But what seemed at first to be disaster continued to turn out well, moving to Idaho, going to new schools, changing, and growing. Over and over again, I've been able to share stories of how, out of what seemed at first to be disaster, God worked for good for me and those around me.

That is true for all of us. There are better things ahead than any we leave behind, someone said. Someone else said, Never fear the future. God is already there.

Prayer: Dear Father God, we are so grateful that we have chosen to accept Your love, forgiveness, and guidance today so that no fears but only faith lights our pathway ahead, step by step. Thank You for the deep waters that do not overflow us but strengthen us to become more like You. With Dorothy Greenwell, we confess that we are not skilled to understand what You have willed, what You have planned. We only know at Your right hand stands One who is our Saviour," in Whose name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <rise370@gmail.com>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you, Rose!


    Thanks, Rose, for a great reminder, God bless!


    Thanks for the wonderful story.
    (B.C.)


    Your devotionals are always special, Rose. Thank you.
    (Texas)


    What a beautiful message and testimonial dear Rose.
    Thank you so much.
    Blessings.


    Amen Rose. Well done! Thanks for sharing this wonderful truth in a very interesting way.
    Blessings.


    Very good devotion piece. I am sure that it wasn’t only my heart that was touched with your writing. Brava!
    Blessings going your way.


    I love it when I can start reading a devotional and think, “I wonder if this is Rose writing?” I’m sometimes — but not always — right. This time I was! What an interesting life you’ve had, dear soul!


    Thanks, Rose. Great message for today. So many things changing all around us and how will it all turn out? God will supply. The I AM will supply what we need when we need it. Thanks for sharing.


    Thank you so much, Rose for another powerful, inspiring Devotional. I am feeling blessed to have read it! I have a special notebook I use to collect quotes and the ones you used today are going in it.


    Dog pile? I am still chuckling. How amazing that you made it to adulthood! But your parents, poor as they were, did instill good lessons in you. Thank you for sharing your insight and faith with us in such colourful ways Rose.


    Good Morning Rose
    What a beautiful story, I was right there as I was reading it. It is wonderful how God always makes negatives into positives.
    Thank you and may you have a blessed day.


    Hello Rose, what wonderful encouragement you have gifted all of us with. Your childhood memory is precious, I could picture it as you related it to us. God Bless you for sharing your enduring faith. Thank you. It lifted my spirit, and I am sure it will do the same for others.


    Thanks For this Rose.
    I am blessed by it.
    Knowing that God knows and holds tomorrow is the greatest assurance anyone can have.
    Blessings.


    Another reminder of God’s loving grace.
    I hope that you are staying well, Rose.
    Thank you for a refreshing start to my day. It is always a joy to read your devotionals.
    Blessings to you and your family,
    (ON)


    Dear Rose,
    I can relate to your experience so clearly, but I didn’t break my arm. How our precious Lord lets us see His provision and presence in everything is beyond our understanding, and events such as yours highlight His presence. By way of God’s grace, back then, today, and tomorrow, we can trust that Christ, in all His provision and power is available. Thank you for your blessing in context of your life.


    Dear Rose:
    I do love and are so very blessed with your wonderful devotionals!
    God is definitely arranging a crown for you and, I have a very strong conviction that you will immediately lay it at His feet.
    Your writing ALWAYS gives God the Glory. Therefore, I suspect your life does, also.
    May He continue to bless you with health, spiritual wisdom, and the ability to write for Him.
    Love, prayers, and anticipation of meeting you in Heaven some day,


    Dear Rose,
    That is a great title. I used to think I would like to know how things were going to work out – would I get married, would I have a family, would I have children, would they be all right and then God helped me figure it out that I should live in the moment and enjoy it and not worry about the future. That took me a long time to learn, but it does mean that life is more enjoyable, and I don’t need to know, especially if it is not so good. It is hard to remember that God is in control and that I can trust in him. Thank you for sharing about your early life and what it has taught you. May God continue to help you see your blessings in life.


    Hello and thank you for your devotional.
    As an older ‘boomer’, I realized many years ago, the deep well and wealth of faith and fortitude that the preceding generation were gifted with via the hardships they endured during the 2nd world war and the depression. When many are flailing about, they stand trusting and resolute, knowing the providence of God in every situation. Hardship can cause bitterness or appreciation toward God and our fellow man, always a choice.
    Thanks again, God bless your every day and night.


    Dear Rose,
    Your devotional brought similar truths to my mind as I thought back over times when God brought good out of what seemed bad at the time. He can surely be trusted, can’t He?
    Your broken arm reminded me of the various childhood injuries I had that were much more embarrassing to explain than breaking an arm — even from jumping onto a dog pile! I sometimes wished that I could claim an injury from something as simple and straightforward as falling out of a tree, for instance! I still bear a scar or two from my more bizarre accidents!

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