(Jesus said) "... And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20b
One of the great inspirations (and sources for illustrations) comes out of the mouths of children.
Here's an example. Last summer I had the opportunity of seeing a baseball game where the opposing teams were made up of five-year-olds.
I arrived late, so I had to ask one of the players the score. "We're behind 25-0," the youngster replied. I was shocked and said, in as understanding a voice as I could muster, "You must be pretty discouraged by that." "Why should I be discouraged?" he replied, "We haven't had a chance to bat yet!"
That boy's comment and attitude provide a lesson for adults. He wasn't worried about things in the past which he couldn't change; he just looked forward to that time where he could make a difference.
The first time the player's words helped me was when I was caught in traffic and couldn't do a thing about it. At first I was tempted to lose my temper and get angry at the other motorists, the team which had designed the roads -- anybody -- everybody.
Instead, I remembered the lad's words: "Why should I be upset over something I couldn't change?" Eventually traffic lightened up, I got to my destination, and I arrived refreshed and ready to get up to bat.
There are a great many situations in my life, and in yours, that we can't change -- things where we can't make a difference because situation and circumstance are in the past or beyond us.
Far better to concentrate on those times where we can make a difference. When we get to those moments, we need to come to the Lord and ask Him to encourage, direct and bless those things we need to do.
When we proceed in that God-pleasing way, we can be sure the Savior who has redeemed us will fulfill His promise and be with us.
And who knows, like our 5-year-old baseball player, He may let us hit some home runs.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord and Savior, help us make a positive difference wherever we can. Grant us the grace to live our lives in a way which will benefit others and glorify You. Indeed, when we come to bat, bless us so that our time at bat won't be wasted. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries