“I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure,” said Eric Liddell to his sister Jenny in the movie Chariots of Fire. Eric was a famous Scottish Olympic champion in short distance and a missionary to China. Although his sister was urging him to return to China as soon as possible, he knew God had given him a gift. By choosing to delay his return and run in the 1924 Paris Olympics, Eric was convinced he was honoring God by pursuing his calling as a world-class runner.
In my Nigerian boarding school, students loved to indulge in a practical joke. An older student would send an unsuspecting younger one on an errand to get the “rainbow bucket” from another older student. The latter would then ask the young student to get it from another older student. On and on it went until someone took pity on the unsuspecting student and revealed that the bucket didn’t actually exist!
The woman lost weight and began to feel attractive again. Soon she grew tired of her husband and their life—a life that included four small children. She felt that she had married too young and never had the chance to explore what was out there. Eventually, she threw away family stability—the love and devotion of her husband and the kids’ well-being—to satisfy her desires. When her marital vows became inconvenient, she violated them.
As any couple trying to have a child knows, every 28 days you’re looking for signs of success. For many couples, this expectation is met with disappointment for a few months until conception occurs. But for others, this monthly cycle of raised and dashed hopes can last for years. Proverbs 13:12 describes such an experience well: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
Grandpa was a gentle but firm primary school principal in Pretoria, South Africa. In my final year as a student teacher, he shared a few trade secrets with me. His advice on how to get a disruptive pupil out of the classroom and into isolation was most helpful: “Look the child in the eye and say with authority, ‘Follow me,’ then turn and walk confidently out of the classroom while not looking back.” I tested his advice when dealing with an unruly adolescent and, though I doubted it would work, I soon heard him reluctantly following me.
How many times have you, as I have, delved into sin—addiction, sexual impropriety, gossip, pride, unbridled anger, slothfulness, and more—in an attempt to mask the pain of life? It’s so easy to respond to emptiness, disappointment, or hurt by turning away from God’s commands.
On a recent family trip to the mountains, we were driving late at night through thickly wooded areas. A small bright gleam to the left captured our attention, and my husband quickly slowed the car as two deer leaped across our path. We took that teachable moment to explain to our kids the power of peripheral vision—giving them insight to use one day when they’re behind the wheel.
Tom Brady has model-like good looks, is married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and has led his football team to three championships. But it’s still not enough. Brady confessed during an interview, “Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, ‘Hey, man, this is what is.’ I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think, ‘God, it’s got to be more than this.’ I mean this isn’t—this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be.” The interviewer asked, “What’s the answer?” Brady responded, “I wish I knew. I wish I knew.”
A student was praising one of my colleagues, and I was glad to hear it. This student had been critical of the professor, so I was pleased that she now saw what I already knew. But when she said that the professor’s class was her favorite, I felt a twinge of sadness. Why not mine? I had cheered for my…
I’ve never known true, life-threatening hunger. There have been occasions where my stomach gnawed for food and where I felt the ragged edge of hunger pains. I’ve never known, however, the kind of hunger you see when you visit slums in Sierra Leone or refugee camps in the Sudan. That hunger is palpable in a place where people are barely…
Isaac Penington, an early defender and promoter of the Quaker movement (founded in 17th-century England), said, “Thus has the Lord been teaching me to live upon Himself, not from anything received from Him but upon the Life itself.”
The crowd in John 6 wanted to live off Jesus, not because their hearts were loyal to Him, but because their hearts…