Friday October 28

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Yesterday was a long, wonderfully special day.  Jim & Nancy were in one truck and Donna
& I were in the other as we drove from Franklin, TN to Richfield,  OH.  Although we experienced light rain much of the way, it didn’t distract from the joy we were experiencing.  We were just overwhelmed with the goodness of God and the kindness of dear friends who helped make this transition a blessed one.

Although I am currently unemployed (along with a host of others) that is merely a detail to be addressed.  And we are saddened to leave so many dear friends in TN.  But yesterday, throughout the 11 hour drive, Donna and I were repeatedly cognizant of our joy and gratitude for God and how He has been with us, providing what we need as we need it.  We are aware of the many kindnesses He has enabled us to see – the little ‘touches’ that are like his autograph on situations.

Today’s verses present such a treasure chest of blessing that is ours if we focus on Him instead of our problems or difficulties.  I am reminded of the story I’ve told about our two oldest sons when they were little and we took them to Morton Arboretum.  We loved to take John & Jamie for hikes there.  In the spring of one year something important occurred.  We were walking through the woods and I asked them what colors did they
see?  They answered, “Brown, black, gray.  They just saw soil, leaves covering the ground, tree trunks and tree limbs without leaves – all brown, black and gray.

Then I pointed to a tree and said to look beneath it.  When they started to answer, “Brown”, I said, to look closer – in the leaves to the left of the tree.  All of a sudden they shouted, “Oh, there’s green!”  I pointed to other areas, they shouted, “There’s pink!  Blue!  White!”

They began to see the spring flowers in bloom all around us.  They just hadn’t seen the colorful flowers before because they were distracted by the dominant brown, black and
gray.  Their eyes were opened, by being trained in what to look for.  The flowers and the colors were there all along – they just didn’t see them.

While there are times we might thank Him when in difficult circumstamces all we see are ‘brown, gray and black’; the reality is the ‘color’ is there – both in Him and in our circumstances.  God will open our eyes to see the wondrous ‘color’ of His goodness and kindness to us; surrounding us. Great is our joy, our praise to Him and our gratitude, as we see His hand at work all around us.

About Don Schmidt

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Don was VP of Operations & Director of Student Life for 2 years at Williamson Christian College in Franklin, TN - a wonderful, accredited 4 year college for adult learners. That is where he started writing the devotionals. The passion of his heart is to love God and to help others learn to love God more and more. He grew up in St. Joseph, MI - Class of '66. Graduated from Michigan State in '70 and Wheaton Grad School in '78. Thunderous conversion October 11, 1968. He and Donna were engaged 2 hrs & 15 minutes after they met August 25, 1969 at a Christian camp in Georgia. They married in '70 and have 4 wonderful sons. Most of his adult career has been in business in NE Ohio. They lived for 20 years in Peninsula, OH. They attended St. Luke's Ministries (Anglican) in Copley, OH for many years. Four years ago they were reassigned by the Lord to attend River of Life Community Church in Hudson, OH. St. Luke's prayerfully sent them off on this new adventure with much love.
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