Sometimes you feel like you’re being buried — as if the whole world is trying to do you in. Everything goes wrong, and you want nothing more than to reach for the cookies. I had that kind of day yesterday when our storage room flooded and the owners informed me that they weren’t responsible for the damages — in spite of the fact that we were paying a premium price for climate-controlled storage to protect my valuable out-of-print books.
So why am I posting a picture of a donkey? I read a story on Facebook this morning that illustrated a truth I should have thought about yesterday when everything was going wrong. James 1:3-4 says it: My brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience, but let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
And here is the story: A donkey fell into a dry well and the farmer-owner couldn’t figure out how to get it out. It cried pitifully for hours, helpless and trapped. Finally the man decided that the donkey was old and the well needed to be filled in. He would just bury the donkey in the well. He asked his neighbors to come and help and they started shoveling in the dirt.
The donkey realized what was up and cried in terror as each shovelful of dirt hit his back. After a bit, though, the animal grew quiet. The farmer looked down and saw, to his amazement, that the donkey was shaking off each shovelful of dirt from his back — and then taking a step upward. The men kept shoveling, and the donkey kept shaking it off and climbing up toward freedom.
At length the donkey was able to clamber out the top of the well and trotted off to his pasture.
Our good and loving God, unlike the farmer in the story, isn’t trying to bury us with troubles, and He isn’t looking the other way when people try to do us in. He intends for the trials, instead, to be a way of helping us to grow as Christians.
Each time you determine to cooperate with God in the trial, shake off the anger or hurt feelings, and look to Him for strength in coping — you take a step out of the well. Keep doing that, day by day, and you will find yourself stepping out into freedom, a stronger, better person.
Much better response than eating cookies down in the well while being buried alive!
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown