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Here's the Wood!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson


Pastor
Cecil Thompson

Philippians 4:18-20

"I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

Why do God’s people have to experience trials and tribulations? We know that God is the blessed controller of all things, so why does He allow His precious children to suffer and pass through the fires of adversity?

If you think I am going to be foolish enough to try and answer those questions you had better think again. But there is one thing that I have experienced in my own life and have observed in the lives of other believers; it is in the times of adversity that we are best able to see the hand of God at work.

I may have shared with you about an incident that happened to Joyce and I when I was in the US Air Force, attending a training school in Amarillo, Texas. As a low ranking airman, the money usually ran out before the month!

We had several days left in the month and absolutely no food. We prayed that God would somehow provide, but we didn’t see how. That Sunday evening after church, a couple invited us to come to their house for a bite to eat. Wow! We were more than ready!

During the lunch they heard about our situation. We did not know that this couple owned a small mom and pop grocery store. They said to come by the next day and they would provide the food to see us through the rest of the month.

I thought about that today when I happened upon a biography of a Nazarene missionary, Fairy Chism. I was shocked to learn that she had filled in for a few weeks at a church I had pastured in Burns, Oregon.

Prior to her leaving for the mission field in Africa, she had served in a couple of small churches in north central Oregon. Listen to this incident that she shared:

“In the dead of winter with the thermometer about twenty-four degrees below zero, Fairy's supply of wood became exhausted. She put the last piece of wood into the little stove and, kneeling with her feet stove-ward, prayed something like this: 'Lord Jesus, I am here because You brought me here. I can't look to people to supply my needs because they aren't responsible for my preaching Thy Word. If I could go out and cut down a tree for myself, I'd do it. But since I can't, there's nothing I can do but ask You to please send me some wood. I believe You will. In case You should fail, I will freeze to death, and in heaven I'll have the distinction of being the only servant of the Lord on earth whom God was not able to care for. I thank You for all You have done for me thus far, and I do not believe for a moment that You have forgotten my needed wood. Amen.'"

Soon the room began to be very cold. Wishing to do all she could for herself, Fairy went to bed beneath every quilt and coat that she owned. It couldn't have been more than half an hour later that she heard thud, thud, thud outside her window in the direction of the woodshed. Raising her head she said, "Sounds like wood!"

Bounding out of bed and slipping on the fur coat that had been so kindly provided for her, Fairy opened the door. There atop a big load of wood was a man from Carson, six miles away, vigorously unloading wood into her woodshed. Mr. Thompson had not been inside a church for thirty years.

Approaching the wagon, Fairy exclaimed excitedly, "Why, Mr. Thompson, why have you brought me this wood?" "Well I know you likely don't need it, but early this morning something seemed to say, 'You'd better take that little Nazarene preacher some wood.' But I know your own members here are taking care of you. Then in the middle of the morning the same urge came again but I said, 'Aw, it ain't up to me.' But at dinnertime I feel I just got to bring you some wood, the weather being so cold and all. So here it is."

The adversity that Fairy faced gave God the opportunity to do something to reveal His power and glory. The wood was nothing---but the way God answered the fervent prayer of His servant was a tremendous testimony of God’s provision.

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil

 

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