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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On Seeing Red

by Fylvia Fowler Kline

When Sky came along, it was Roy’s turn to play stay-at-home parent. Every day, they both spent time in anticipation of mommy coming home (which made me feel very special). Every day, there’d be a card or a handmade trinket waiting for me. But once in a while, they’d surprise me and personally deliver my gift.

A visit to mommy’s office was always very exciting, but Sky would get impatient during the trip. It was only 11 miles to the office, but distance and time are, of course, beyond a toddler’s comprehension.

One day, Roy came up with a clever way to address Sky’s impatience. He said, “Mommy’s office is five red lights away. You can count them and know when we’re there.”

Sky looked at him, “You are wrong, Daddy.”

Patiently, Roy assured her that he knew what he was talking about. “I have driven on that road many times,” he said. “And I have counted the number of traffic lights. You just trust Daddy. Count the five times you see a red light and we’ll be there.”

Sky narrowed her eyes, let out a big sigh and clearly emphasized each word, “You. Are. Still. Wrong.” She continued impatiently, “You can’t drive through red lights to get anywhere. You have to wait till they turn green. So there are five green lights to get to Mommy’s office.”

That conversation told us a lot about the person Sky was going to grow up to be. And since those early toddler days, she has continued to reinforce in us, over and over again, the importance of a positive perspective.

You can spend your life seeing red, the stuff that slows your pace and cramps your style. Or you can live in anticipation of the green, the things that herald new opportunities and exciting options.