I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears (Psalms 34:4).
The day Jesse had his accident, he had no idea how drastically his life would change.
"You'll have to find another line of work," his doctor announced tersely. "Your back has been permanently damaged. There's nothing I can do for it." Jesse's mind reeled in crazy circles when he heard the doctor's words. His construction business was his lifeblood! He awoke each morning eager to get on the job and came home at night exhausted but satisfied, feeling fulfilled.
He found a less-demanding but lower-paying job, but a year later he developed allergic asthma. Although his symptoms had surfaced while he was in construction, he had passed them off as simply a lingering cold. Now, however, he had difficulty breathing in the frigid winter weather. Again, his work suffered and his income dropped.
At Christmas time, as the family sat at the table to eat their dinner, which had been donated by their church, he could hardly force himself to be cheery. But after everyone had gone to bed, he stretched out in his favorite chair and surveyed the clutter around him. The Christmas tree lights still winked at him in the corner. Suddenly, he realized he didn't need his work and paycheck to be at peace. The Lord had given him more joy than he had ever expected. Leaning back, he closed his eyes and reflected on his situation. How proud he had felt about his ability to work and make money! "Lord, I don't want to rely on my own abilities," he prayed softly. "I just want to be used by you. I'm sorry I've tried to do it on my own." He was silent for a moment, then spoke with resolve. "I want to rely on you, Lord, instead. And I thank you for my family and this simple Christmas."
From that night on, when Jesse had his devotions, he committed his family and his health to the Lord without demands. By early spring, his energy returned and he decided to retrain for a career that wouldn't strain his health. Gradually, God restored some of the material blessings his family once enjoyed. As his income rose, Jesse experienced a quiet gratitude toward the Lord.
"I had to die to my pride and self-sufficiency," he testifies. "God is first in my life now. Money and career are no longer my idols, and I am managing our finances for His glory."
Jesse sought the Lord, who blessed and taught him in his adversity, then delivered him.
"I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears" (Psalm 34:4, NIV).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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