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Difficult days hold some life changing lessons

Have you noticed that our American minds have become so desirous for more things that we have lost the ability to identify our needs from our wants?  And that our values have gotten so out of whack that we can hardly recognize the truly valuable things in life?

In our effort to limit our contact with too many people in the past week, Gale and I have experienced quite a change in our routines.  Many of you can identify with us on that point.  In the past ten days I have driven fewer miles than I have in a long time over that many days.  Even though fuel is a bargain right now, I have a lot less need for it than in the past.  And I have gotten around to some of things that I have wanted to do for a long time, but have not had the time:  I finally got my BB gun out and target practiced with Addy, and I gave her a few lessons on casting a rod and reel out in the back yard.  I even flew a kite with the grandkids!  And to my wife’s delight, we now have shiny clean vehicles out in the yard and a few other things accomplished that I have put off because of the heavy demands of life.

Not only have there been a great deal of change in our daily routine, I have also been forced to think a little differently about carrying on ministry.  I must admit that I have been so stuck in the rut of how we have always done things that perhaps I have missed some opportunities that could have been of benefit.  Now I am getting used to preaching with only a few of my family members present as I try to stare at a cell phone and talk to people that I cannot see.  As unnatural as that is for me, it is a means that has the potential to reach people that I may never see with my eyes.

If it was in my power to choose if our nation and world would go through what we have and are still going through, my choice would be certainly not.  Nevertheless, there are—as in every trial of life—rich lessons and experience to be gained as we slowly walk down this path so full of uncertainty.  As I have heard it said, if every day was sunny, the world would be a desert.  Thankfully, we can rest assured that behind the clouds the sun continues to shine and a brighter day will come.

We would all do well to pause and think about what is really important in life.  As we do, it is likely that all that time we spent running up and down the road trying to grab another dollar would not be nearly as important as we thought it was at the moment.  And maybe time out in the yard with the family flying a kite, shooting a BB gun, or any of many other things that we could do together are a richer source of wealth than we ever imagined; it is wealth that will outlast the gold and silver that we work so many hours trying to reach.

Perhaps now is a good time for each of us to ask ourselves what it is that God is trying to teach us?  And maybe we should also ask ourselves if we are willing to learn what He teaches?  It wouldn’t hurt to ask if we will still remember what He taught us on the cloudy days after the sun comes back out—or will it merely be life back to the usual rat race?

I challenge you all to use the words of Moses as he spoke to God as a prayer for your own life:  “If You are pleased with me, teach me Your ways so I may know You and continue to find favor with You.  Remember that this nation [Israel] is Your people (Exodus 33:13, New International Version).