Be Flexible

Friday, October 7, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "And Can It Be That I Should Gain"1 (Lyrics)

James 4:14-15 – How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog — it's here a little while, then it's gone. What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that." (NLT)

My husband and I had been volunteering for several years with the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners, near Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. The Gleaners transform surplus vegetables into nourishing soup mix for needy people around the world. As we worked every fall at the plant, I had the routine down pat: put on an apron and latex gloves, pin on a name tag, and select a knife or two from the newly-sharpened knives on the shelf. One particular day, I was looking forward to working across the table from a friend we'd met in previous years, who also stayed at the on-site area where our trailers were parked. We were going to chop beets. Gabby was in the middle of sharing her faith journey with me.

Well, God had other plans for the morning. "Would you come and spread?" the supervisor asked me. Instead of the calm and predictability of the chopping table, I was thrust into the fast-paced task of spreading vegetables on trays and loading them onto a many-tiered trolley. A pile of beet cubes, spewing out of the dicing machine, was growing alarmingly, and had to be dealt with immediately. I soon got into the rhythm of this new task, working alongside another person. A pattern emerged. Flick, flick, flick — the quick light movements of our gloved hands spread the beet cubes over the sheet in the least possible time. I was getting the hang of it: spread the beets, bend over to slide the trays into the slots on the rack. Our operation was smooth and efficient — until it was time to fit the last of the tall trolleys in the drying room. Whoops! They didn't fit. I had the trolleys all backwards, out of their colour-coded alignment. I hadn't noticed that the trolleys had small strips of colour on them that needed to be lined up in a certain order. Production slowed as my co-worker and I rectified the problem.

Colossians 3:2 – Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (NIV)

Just as the supervisor called me to a new task, God also wants to shake us up, and challenge us in new areas of service. The Message adds to this verse: "See things from his perspective." He wants to take us out of our comfort zone. We need to keep our minds fixed on the realities of spiritual truths, on His values, and not on our preconceived notions of what is to take place next. Even if we make mistakes, God wants us to be yielded to His will, open to new ways of serving Him that may be — like my beet-sorting task — out of the comfortable groove that we've worn in our lives. God may ask us to keep on being faithful in our present circumstances, or He may have a different plan to work a certain characteristic into our lives. Let's be flexible and open to His plan!

Prayer: Lord, help us to be flexible, yielding to Your master plan for our lives, and not pursuing our own ideas as to what to do next. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Alice Burnett <>
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very thoughtful and challenging message Alice. Many blessings.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today. Blessings.

    Thanks, Alice, for another of your very special and mindful devotionals. Quite a job you had getting all those veggies ready! You did a great analogy of comparing that “new job” with the “flexibility” we need in our lives and be ready to serve our Lord in so many different and very meaningful ways. Bless you for these special writings you do.

    Good morning, Alice,
    I like this title because by nature I am not very flexible in both ways – physically and mentally. I have learned the importance of both as I age. The more I move and bend, the easier it is. When I was younger, it was important, but as I age, it is very important. By the end of summer and gardening, I am more flexible and have to remember to move more during the winter even though there is not the garden to remind me and keep me limber. I have also learned that life is easier and more fun if I am mentally flexible and willing to do what comes along and needs to be done. By nature, I like routine, but that is not how life unfolds.
    Your devotional has lots of interesting information to explain the importance of being flexible. I join with you in your prayer to remember it is God’s will and not my own, which will enrich my faith. Blessings and Joy.

    Amen Alice. A little shaking up is always good for our faith.

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