Life in the Promise Land
Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 43 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, three daughters-in-law--Leah, Vanessa, and Sarah, and seven grandchildren. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
- 2004 Aug 01
I ran across a couple of funny stories that bear repeating. The first comes from the Jews for Jesus newsletter and deals with the hardships of living in Israel. It seems that a new immigrant to Israel became furious after standing in line at the bank for a whole hour. "I hate all this waiting in lines. I'm leaving!" he shouted to his companion. "It's the prime minister's fault. I'm going to find him and kill him." An hour later the man returned to the bank where his companion was still waiting in line. "So what happened?" his friend asked. "Nothing!" replied the frustrated immigrant. "There was an even longer line over there!"
Sometime it's not the big things that get to you. It's the little things that get under your skin. Maybe you're running late and can't find your keys, or maybe your kids make too much noise just before dinner, or maybe you've been trying to lose weight but your pants still don't fit. Who knows? Maybe you've got allergies or the kids won't mind you or you're under the gun with some project at work or someone said something you didn't appreciate or maybe your paycheck is spent the day you get it.
Life is like that. Right about now I am reminded of the immortal words of my dear friend Jerry Hansen who, in the midst of a crisis would suddenly smile and say, "It doesn't get any better than this." I think he meant it.
If you're looking forward to getting out from under the pile, forget it. Life is just one big pile after another. Remember the words of Job: "Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7). It helps to think about the words of Psalm 119:165, "Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble." Are you stumbling right now, tripping over the problems of life? Great peace comes to those who love God's Word. The next time you feel yourself getting upset, call a Time Out and mediate for a few moments on a portion of Scripture. Say a prayer, sing a verse of a favorite hymn, and then put this verse to the test.
Our natural tendency is to complain, which brings me to my second story. One cold morning a little sparrow sitting on a fence saw a boy drop some bologna on the ground. The little sparrow hopped down and had a good meal. Then he jumped back on the fence and starting chirping. Just then a hawk flew over, heard the sparrow chirping, swooped down and carried him away. The moral of the story: When you're full of baloney, it's best to keep your mouth shut.