One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway-it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all of his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off, and take a step up.
At times, it is near impossible to see the truth of our circumstances. What we may monetarily perceive as a curse may be in fact a potential blessing, if we have the eyes of faith. As I have stated in earlier devotions, God promises us that we WILL face adversity, trials, temptations and hardships in our lives as his followers. I do not believe that God sends us these trials in some twisted divine lab experiment to ‘test our mettle’ but I believe all trials give us the opportunity to strengthen our faith and deepen our dependence on God and to develop our character.
Do you feel like the donkey today? Braying at the bottom of the pit? Don’t give up! Don’t allow the ‘dirt’ of life to bury you alive. Don’t have a temper tantrum at the well’s bottom, kicking at the walls that enclose you, you’ll only injure yourself and anyone else who might be in the pit along with you. Instead, start taking steps of faith, repentance, endurance and courage that your master provides you to climb up and out.
Psalm 66:8-12 (NRSV)
Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip. For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid burdens on our backs; you let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.
Until Next Week
© 2011 Katherine Walden