I am very proud to say today’s devotional was written by my 16-year-old daughter Nicole Joy, who wrote this for me as a birthday present. The Stepping Stone she navigated in her life:
Two summers ago, I was really excited to go with so many of my friends on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Being a plan-driven, list-oriented person, I made an excel spreadsheet checklist for what I was going to bring with the exact pants, shorts, and T-shirts for specific days and activities … accessories, and everything.
That’s not even the worst! I color-coded it for where it went in which bag! This might seem extreme but it is the way my brain works. I had everything from scissors to extra pens for people. I am the type of person who never asks anyone for anything because I have it, or even doubles to lend to others. They’re always the ones asking me, which I don’t mind at all.
I wonder if you can predict where this story is going.
Before we left Calvary Church at 3:30 AM, we prayed for everything to be safe & go as God planned. We each had a backpack, carry-on bag, and suitcase. And we also had a large 40 pound duffel filled with clothes we collected for the kids there. When we got to the airport in Santa Domingo, I was just soaking up the different smell in the air as we walked to the luggage check. That was where we were all helping get the 50+ suitcases off.
I was soon to realize … mine wasn’t there. We looked around everywhere for it, even on other people’s luggage carts! Long story short, after talking to an attendant, leaving a description and filing a report, we had to get going on the next leg of our journey. On the hour-long bus ride, I was surprisingly not stressed like I thought I would be. I remembered a verse we had memorized in church from James 1:2-4 (see below). This is when I realized, that with practice in the little things, I had learned from this verse … and it worked. I was shocked at how I was acting, but then I realized how God helped me think. I am really thankful for this.
Plus, the story ends well; I got my suitcase late the next day. It had been shipped to Denver!
Today, remember God loves you. He is sovereign, all-powerful, and all knowing. He will bring events or opportunities, what we call trials, into our life to grow us. Whatever trial you face today, be thankful and rejoice. Change your attitude … the lenses you wear as you experience this trial … and you will change your stress level and the actual outcome. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father God, Thank You so much for loving me and growing me … through both good times and “trials”. I want to have the mind of Christ and glorify You in all situations, so others can see You through me. Thanks for being willing to let me be part of Your plan as you minister to others through me. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who endured the Cross for the joy set before Him, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”