Devotional for the week of February 8, 2018

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Destination: USA


“Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief” –Proverbs 21:23

A few years ago, my daughter, Kirsten, and I took a trip to Japan. It was wonderful! I loved spending time with her, and on our final day, we were sad to go as we rolled our suitcases to the corner and called a taxi. We had to catch a train to the airport soon, and I was already worried about how close we were cutting it.

Then, our situation got worse. The first taxi driver refused to take us, claiming that our luggage wouldn’t fit in his trunk. When our second driver arrived, he also claimed that our luggage wasn’t going to fit. When I tried to put my bag in the car to show him it would, he grew very angry and actually threw my luggage out of the taxi!

I don’t know Japanese, but I got the message: “Not my taxi, lady.” He yelled at us in Japanese and sped away.

I kept thinking, why, after such a wonderful trip, was this my experience on the last day? Everyone had been so nice to us the entire time, and now we couldn’t seem to catch a break!

The answer was simple: the devil wants to steal our joy. He will send problems to distract us from our goals. So many times, we get started, we get moving and when obstacles arrive, we fold because we are not thinking clearly.

The first driver could not see beyond the impossible, and the second driver could not see beyond the emotional—beyond his anger. Because they lost sight of the purpose and gave up, they lost out, because I tell you what, I’m a great tipper! But you lose so much more than money when you let your emotions get the best of you.

People are much more likely to give up when they allow their frustrations to call the shots. Picture Jesus in the storm; He wasn’t worried or angry or frustrated. He was sleeping! Let us pray for the kind of faith that will help us be a place of calm in the midst of powerful storms.