No one worked harder than Austin Dover. He served behind the scenes, often in the kitchen. Austin was not talkative, and I only remember his speaking to the entire staff once: devotions at a 7:00 AM staff meeting
The thrust of Austin’s devotional has stuck in my mind. His point: we often want to do great things for God – and we would like to see God do great things. We needed to focus on doing the small things for God that are our daily responsibility, and watch for the many small things God does. The devotional was short…we got the point!
God is at work! God is in control! We can count on this, but we cannot count on God to routinely alter the laws of nature, the world He created. Neither can we count on God to ignore the results of man’s disobedience – in the Garden of Eden, or in our daily lives. As the result of man’s disobedience, past and present, we will all physically die. In the mean time we struggle with pain, suffering, loneliness, discouragement, sinful thoughts, desires, and actions.
Through Jesus Christ our sins are forgiven. They are removed from us as far as the East is from the West. Psalm 103:12 Wonderful! But the scars of sin remain, even after our sins are forgiven by God, and often even after we have been forgiven by the person we wronged.
I know God loves me, and occasionally I feel an overwhelming love for God! At such times, God provides within me an incredible joy – Joy in His goodness to me. This can happen to me when I am having my morning devotions, in church, or when alone in the wonder of His creation – but these moments are not my norm. I just plug away at living a life pleasing to God. When I am aware that God is using my words, my actions for His glory, I smile, both inside and out.
I do ask God to do great things. I wait, but struggle to have confidence in God’s wisdom. Recently a Christian friend of 33 years died of cancer. The week before she died, we called Addie, and her husband, Jerry. We talked and laughed together. Locally we have a friend who is in need of a lung transplant. Another friend has been told there is nothing more the doctors know to do that will save his life. Recently another friend moved to North Carolina. He lives with on-going bouts of cancer. Two days ago we had yet another friend call to say cancer had returned after 8 years of being cancer free I know Mark 11:24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” And John 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father”. Many have prayed, and nothing has physically happened that is known, yet I have seen God heal others. I identify with Solomon: “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the maker of all things Ecclesiastes 11:5 I get discouraged with God, but yet I don’t. Who should God heal? How long should the healing last?
God has given each of these people who are special to us, and to God, peace…joy. Those who still live are pushing life to the limit, with happy hearts. Sally Jo and I are thankful we are with two of them weekly. On a trip planned months ago, Sally Jo and I will have time with the family where the cancer has reappeared, and with Jerry, whose wife recently died. God’s timing? God’s timing!
A month ago Charles Alexander sat next to me on the plane 3 hours after being released from solitary confinement in a federal penitentiary. On Saturday he called me and we had a long conversation. On Monday I was able to call Charles and tell him I would come to his halfway house in Indiana on March 25th. I will bring Jerry with me. The 3 of us can have lunch together, and Jerry and I will have 4 hours in the car to talk. Same trip. God’s timing?
Yesterday I learned that my brother, Dick will be honored at a dinner on Saturday evening, March 23. We will be there!
As Austin said: Focus on living an obedient life, in the little, the routine things. I can go months unaware of God’s direct involvement. And then, like now, I see what has to be God at work. God is in control!