Two things are certain: Life’s troubles and God’s faithfulness
A lady with a pain in her side went to see a physician. He told her she had appendicitis and must have an operation immediately.
She decided to get a second opinion and went to see another doctor. He told her she had gall bladder trouble and must have an operation immediately.
A friend asked her, “Where do you go from here?”
She answered, “Back to the first doctor. I’d rather have appendicitis.”
Most of us would rather have neither, but there’s one ailment that’s common to all of us: troubles. Call it suffering, problems, tribulations, trials, tests, or character builders. No one is immune from life’s testing times.
As one wise pastor observed, “On any given Sunday, there is hurt on every pew.”
One lady said recently, “I have so many problems that if anything drastic happened today, it would be two weeks before I could get around to worrying about it.”
How do we respond to life’s troubles? Difficulty will make us either bitter or better. When troubles come, we can either sit down and quit, or determine to do our best to keep persevering. Often the plodders are the most successful in life.
Walt Disney applied at a Midwestern newspaper for a job as an artist. He was told he did not have the talent. His first cartoon was “Oswald the Rabbit.” It flopped. Then he created “Mickey Mouse.”
Charles Shultz had every cartoon he submitted rejected by his high school yearbook staff. Even Walt Disney wouldn’t hire him.
Babe Ruth struck out almost twice as many times as he hit home runs, but he said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
Hank Aaron went 0-5 in his first game with the Milwaukee Braves. He hit his first home run ten days later. Years later, he broke Babe Ruth’s record.
Vince Lombardi said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.”
Much of life is uncertain, but, as Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). Life is a hassle, but we must press on.
My early childhood pastor in East Point was Roy W. Hinchey. When he retired, he and Ruth had the opportunity to serve many churches as interim pastor.
One of those was in Nassau, Bahamas. This church was their first international pastorate. Roy and Ruth got all of their papers together: birth certificates, letters of recommendation, and proof of citizenship. They thought they had everything they needed.
After they got to Nassau, they found out the law required them to have a work permit from the Bahamian government. They applied and were told they had to have a marriage certificate. They thought they had everything, so that requirement really threw them off! They even pulled out pictures of their grandchildren to prove their marriage, but that didn’t work.
Hinchey told the officials they could get one, but it would require writing the county where they were married 40 years ago. That would take time (no faxes or email in the late 1970’s).
The kind government official said, “I think I have the answer. I will give you a permit to work and your wife a permit to reside.”
Hinchey said, “We’ll take it.”
Later, it dawned on him what they had done. “Ruth, do you realize that we’re not legally married here at all? In the eyes of the government, we’re just shacking up!”
Life sometimes is a hassle. We know that. Thank goodness, there is one more thing we can bank on: God is faithful all the time and, when others are fickle or life is uncertain, you can count on Him and stand on God’s promises.
As Peter wrote, “. . . casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7).
Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga. The church family meets at 352 McDonough Road, just past the department of drivers’ services building, and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.