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FROM THE PULPIT

Approaching each day with enthusiasm

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James Pence

James Pence is minister of Pleasant Grove Christian Church of Martinsville.

I once read of a man who had a beloved, family dog that was slowly going blind. There was nothing that could be done medically, except to wait the time when the dog would slowly lose his eyesight.

The family felt that the situation was really a pathetic one as the dog’s eyesight dimmed and he would increasingly bump into things and not be sure of where he was. And yet, the father in the story tried to see the disability as the dog did.

Every single day, the dog did not change the way he looked at life. He would have enthusiasm each day for his treats, play fiercely in a game of catch and venture on long walks that would wear out the humans out only seemed to please him more. As his eyes grew weirdly green and dim, every day was a new day that began and ended with enthusiasm and unconditional love.

Suddenly, his dog did not seem pathetic but very blessed indeed.

In the New Testament, Jesus healed many, many people, and we may often think they thought of themselves as helpless. And yet the Bible assures us they were far from it. Mark 10:52 says, “Jesus said to him, ‘Go, your faith has made you well.’” We read that before Jesus spoke to him, the blind man wanted to see, and it was his great faith that was credited to him for receiving his sight again.

What of us when our times of trial and affliction come? Do those around us hear us only complaining or do they see our faith that God will deliver us in his own timing and in his perfect will?

Jesus has shown us, on the cross, what it means to bear suffering without grumbling or turning one’s back on the father. We would do well to follow his example when we encounter times of suffering, too.

What would be the difference if you and I approached each day with enthusiasm and the same sense of joy and promise? Regardless of the afflictions we have, the problems we face and the worries that assail us, we can be just like that if we have the same kind of faith and believe in the goodness of God.

James Pence is the minister of Pleasant Grove Christian Church of Martinsville.

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