May 30, 2010
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5
Some people each day deal with more problems than most of us have faced in our entire lives.
Such a person was the author Robert Louis Stevenson. Even though he was bedridden much of his life with tuberculosis, Stevenson seemed to maintain a cheerful outlook on things.
As you know, a person who is constantly happy in adversity can be a pretty frustrating person for other -- more normal people -- to be around.
That was the case for Mrs. Stevenson who one day heard her husband's rib-shattering cough. Rather testily she said to him, "And I suppose you still believe it's a wonderful day?" Stevenson, turning to a window ablaze with sunlight, said, "I do! I will never let a row of medicine bottles block my view!"
As many of us think upon our lives, it's amazing just how often we have done exactly that. We get a cold and get grouchy; something good happens to somebody else and we get sullen and jealous. Given a few minutes together we could come up with quite a list of medicine bottles which block the sunshine, couldn't we?
Now you should know that is not the way God wants His adopted children to live. In the fourteenth chapter of John, the Savior Himself said, "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).
With those words, the Savior shows He is ready to flick aside the medicine bottles of frustration, fear, and foreboding.
With His perfect life and by His sacrificial suffering and death, all who believe on Jesus as Savior are forgiven. They are taken from the family of the damned to those who are delivered.
Of course, Jesus won't force you to look past the medicine bottles to the joy and peace He wishes to bestow, but I wonder, why would anyone look at those medicine bottles when, just beyond, the Lord has provided things -- wonderful things.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, difficulties do come to Your people. That doesn't mean we have to let those difficulties block out Your grace, Your love, or the Savior's sacrifice. Let us look past the medicine bottles of life and see the power of Your peace. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries