This weekend has been a character building experience. Ironhide became sick, not seriously but enough for us to pause and say "God is it time for a trip?". The more we prayed the more things started to become clear that this was not a time for going back but for building and moving forward.
We have all been really homesick lately. We wanted to go back to what was familiar, to catch our breath from all the "newness" of moving across country. The homesickness has felt like a blanket adding weight to our daily journey. We thought this trip would help lift that weight, but prayer lead us to cancel the trip.
Then we found this in our morning bible study.
Shake it Off
Let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) . . . and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.
— Hebrews 12:1
One of my favorite stories is about a farmer's donkey that fell into a dry well. The animal cried pitifully for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do for his poor donkey. Finally, he concluded that the well was too deep, and it really needed to be covered up anyway. Besides, the donkey was old, and it would be a lot of trouble to get him out of the pit. The farmer decided that it was not worth trying to retrieve the animal, so he asked his neighbors to help him fill in the well and bury the donkey.
They all grabbed shovels and began to toss dirt into the well. The donkey immediately realized what was happening, and he began to bray horribly. Crying would be our normal response if somebody was mistreating us this badly, so this donkey was responding the same way we would at first, but then he got real quiet. A few shovel loads of dirt later, the farmer looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit the donkey's back, the donkey would shake it off, and step on top of it.
As the neighbors and the farmer continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would continue to shake it off, and take a step up. Pretty soon the donkey shook off the last shovel full of dirt, took a step up, and walked right out of the well. We can learn so much from this story. When trouble comes, if we will get still and listen, God will tell us what to do.
By the grace and the mercy of God, I was able to shake off a lot of things in my life, a lot of hurt feelings, a lot of mistreatment, a lot of abuse, a lot of unfair, unjust, unkind things. Just like the donkey, in order to keep pressing on and have victory in our lives, we are going to have to learn to shake off the troubles that come our way.
From the book New Day, New You: 365 Devotions for Enjoying Everyday Life by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2007 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.
(The full text be found at Joyce Meyer Daily Devotionals)