ALABASTER JARS

Life in Abundance


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Problems Take a Back Seat

by Fylvia Fowler Kline
God’s name be ever blessed. Job 1:21, The Message

I was there to listen to Bruce sing again in the quartet for the first time in three years. To compensate for the loss of salivary glands, he took long sips of water between songs. And on one of his water breaks, he shared his testimony. He began, “Three years ago I got the blessing of cancer.”

It was a time when nothing seemed to be going right. His health was in crisis, his marriage was falling apart and his business was struggling. A man of faith, Bruce turned over his problems to the Lord. He prayed, he meditated on God’s Word, he exercised faith at every turn, he surrendered to God’s will. But he couldn’t shake the heaviness of his problems. It hovered over him. Then one day while praying, he realized that it wasn’t enough to turn everything over to God. He needed to find a way to praise God for his problems. He needed to live like he really believed that “all things work together for good to them who love the Lord.” And that’s when his problems took a back seat in his life. And that’s why he is able to say his cancer was a blessing.

There’s the kind of faith that helps you to stoically wait for God’s plan to unfold, so you can see in hindsight that everything that happened was meant to be. Then there’s the dynamic kind of faith that does more—It is an active agent that enables you to laugh and live and rejoice during your trials. Most all Christians have the first kind of faith. But those who have the second kind live every day with the rush of contentment and peace.

It was this second kind of faith that allowed Job to chastise his wife with the words, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10).

You can find more devotions like this in the Alabaster Jars series. The first book has 53 readings and the second 99. Consider the books as a gift for yourself or someone else. Whether you buy the paperback or the Kindle version, you’ll be making a difference in a woman’s life–100% of the proceeds go towards teaching women how to read.


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The Pig on the Road

by Cynthia Ward

I am number four of five children who didn’t often get to visit extended family in California. So any opportunity for a road trip to see Grandma was wonderful.

When I was 12, a family friend was getting married in California near where my grandmother lived. I begged my mom to let me go with Violet, the groom’s mother, who didn’t want to travel alone anyway. My mom said yes; I was thrilled; and Violet was glad for the company.

That morning I piled into the car with great excitement. After the required prayer for safe travel, we backed out of our driveway and headed towards California. It should have been a five-hour journey from our small town to Grandma’s home, except that Violet was a good Christian woman who abided by all highway rules and regulations. In other words, we never broke the 55-mile-an-hour speed limit.

Finally, as we were nearing our destination in the San Francisco Bay Area, we merged with hundreds of other cars driving on a five-lane highway. With Violet resolutely stuck in the slowest lane, I had plenty of opportunity to see everything. Soon a flatbed pickup truck was alongside us. Around the truck bed was a wooden slat fence. Within the fenced area of the flatbed were a dog, a calf and a pig—and plenty of hay. Just as the truck began to pass us, the back fence guard fell off and splintered all over the highway. Naturally this caught our attention. And we watched what happened next in horror.

The pig apparently decided this was his stop. He walked up to the edge of the flatbed and leapt out onto the highway right in front of our car. The pig landed on its side. But because it was so fat, it bounced back up on its feet. Instinctively Violet slammed on her brakes. But there was no way we were going to stop before we hit that pig head on. I can still hear her shout out, “Stop us, Jesus!” And we stopped. Just like that. There was no skidding of tires, no swerving into the other lane. We just stopped. Right on that spot.

The pig walked around our car and poked his head through our window. He was huge! And after poking his nose at us, he proceeded to the side of the road. We could hear car tires squealing all around us, but we were safe; and so was the pig. Neither the pig nor our car was hit by another vehicle.

I think about the big fat pig every once in a while and remember that I’m safe in the hands of God.