There Will Be a Few Skunks Along the Way

Published 2:19 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2022

As we well know, life consists of both the good and the bad and I have had some of both in recent days. Perhaps you can say the same. The bad took place last week when my computer went out; it powers on but that is as far as it goes. Thankfully I had most of the files backed up and was able to recover them; however, there was a good chunk of material that I am not able to access. It was well past the time to buy a new computer, but it looks like I put it off a little too long. In the larger picture of life, the loss of a few dozen files is not a big deal. Thankfully, there are plenty of good things to focus on. A few days ago I picked my first ripe tomatoes of the season and was able to enjoy a good tomato sandwich with my wife at supper tonight. That might sound small but it was a very good thing to us.

We are not promised a life of ease or one without troubles along the way. In fact, we are promised quite the opposite in the Bible. Peter, one of the great men of God and a disciple of Christ who understood firsthand what it was to go through the hardships of life, penned these words for our comfort and guidance: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Peter 1:6, New International Version). He did not just acknowledge the probability that God’s people will face grief along life’s way; he went on to remind us that even in the hard places of life there is much to be gained: “These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (verse 7).

I recall an occasion when, after being up a good portion of the night with a family during a time of special need, I fought sleep as I headed home. I needed to get home as quickly as possible with hopes of enjoying a brief nap before speaking at a leadership meeting for a group of ladies. As I traveled west on Highway 84 I caught a glimpse of something in the road but I came upon it so fast that I did not want to risk swerving to miss it at full highway speed. It was so mangled that I could not tell what it was, but it was obvious that it was the remains of some unfortunate animal that met his fate on the dark highway. After running over it, I soon knew what it was as its well known characteristic invaded my car—it was a dead skunk! If there is one thing better than coffee to arouse one from sleepiness it must surely be the putrid odor of a skunk, and I had a horrible dose of it that was still evident on my car tires hours later.

My early morning mishap was unpleasant to endure, yet otherwise harmless (although the skunk did not fare as well). Nevertheless, we have to face the reality that life—no matter how godly we might try to live–will bring us some times in which unexpected, unfortunate, and uncomfortable situations will come our way. Thankfully the words that God spoke to the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 are useful to us in such times: “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness’” (verse 9a, New International Version).

There will always be a few skunks to be dealt with along the path of life but we do not have to allow them to ruin our lives. Instead, we can use them as a faith strengthening opportunity and a firsthand reminder that God’s grace is sufficient for whatever we encounter.