Life is unpredictable - change is constant - God never changes!
A dear friend passed this on to me, so I am now passing it on to you! The lessons we can learn from God can be found all around us.... even in the home of a mouse!
We thank You that You never change - in an uncertain world, we can be certain that You remain our constant source for all we need. We may not know what tomorrow holds, but we know WHO holds tomorrow. Let us always take comfort in Your ceaseless love and faithfulness to your children. In Christ we pray, In Christ we remain. Amen.
Don't Cling to the Firewood
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
They're just a young couple, I can tell. These mouseholders who
have taken up residence in the woodpile are just starting out in
life. They've built a nest under the pile of oak firewood I am
loading into the back of our station wagon.
We had our first frost a few days ago, and had spent several days
winterizing our house. So had this mouse couple. At the bottom of
the woodpile their nest would be dry and warm in all but the
wettest of storms, ready for the young ones that would surely be
I think of my wife and me in our first apartment 32 years ago. So
excited, so optimistic.
These are tiny mice, equipped with miniature jumping legs, their
little bodies only 2-1/2 inches long -- if you don't count the
tail. I must seem like a huge giant as I deconstruct their
carefully built lives, one log at a time.
I feel sorry for them. Such cute little creatures, so hopeful for
the future, yet so filled with terror at what is happening to
"What's going on, dear?" the mouse bride cries.
"I don't know," her husband answers. "Nothing like this has ever
He's wrong, of course. Change happens -- constantly. But,
thankfully, it's not too often that our entire lives are altered
forever by external events.
A few weeks after my bride and I had moved into our first
apartment, I received a draft notice: "Greetings from the
President of the United States." Yes, greetings to you, too, Mr.
President. Our carefully constructed lives suddenly took a sharp
You've had some of those turns, too.
The death of someone very close to you.
Loss of a job.
Failure of a business.
An illness or injury.
Suddenly, life is not the same and never will be again.
Everything's different. And we try to cope -- sometimes in healthy
ways, sometimes in self-destructive ways.
I keep loading the firewood into the back of the wagon. I'm about
to stack it higher yet when I see one of the tiny mice clinging to
a piece of firewood in the back of the car. Another few seconds
and he would have been crushed. I pick him up by his long tail,
set him on the ground, and go back to get more logs. When I return
he is still at the same place on the ground where I put him --
stunned by these events, barely able to get out of harm's way.
We're so mouse-like sometimes.
Life goes on. The props change, sometimes all too often. We're so
tempted to cling to the props as they are being dragged off the
set. And sometimes we're hurt because of our inability to let go,
so attached to the accouterments of the past that it's impossible
for us to welcome the future.
Change requires courage, great helpings of it. My mind goes to
Joshua in the Bible. For nearly forty years he has been an
understudy to the great leader Moses. Now Moses is dead and
leadership is thrust fully upon Joshua. Ahead is the Jordan River
running at flood stage, and beyond that the fortified cities of
Canaan -- the "Promised Land" that seems so elusive. Talk about
change? Joshua has change swirling all around him.
And God speaks to him a word: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be
terrified, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be
with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).
Our mouse couple looks up as their world is trembling. One by one
the logs that comprise their shelter are disappearing, and soon
only open sky is above. What do you do?
Do you cling to the firewood and risked being crushed by it? Or do
you cling to God's promise to you?
God has promised to be with you wherever you go. He has promised
never to leave you or forsake you. What he asks of you is faith to
overcome your terror. Courage to meet your discouragement. And
confidence to draw on his strength.
Change is a constant. No part of our lives will endure unchanged
for more than a few years, a few decades at most. But the LORD our
God is unchangeable. He is forever. You can put down your roots
into him, knowing that in this way you will never be utterly
I think of Mr. and Mrs. Mouse. My heart goes out to them. I've
been where they are, and so have you. And I hope that, even as I
am writing these words, they are dragging their nest into another
shelter in the woods to keep them dry and warm this winter. I hope
that Mr. Mouse has finally got over his shock and got with the
program. Older now, and wiser they are.
And if I could offer just one word of advice for them and for you
-- and for me -- it would be this: Don't cling to the firewood.
Copyright © 1999, Ralph F. Wilson. All rights reserved. Copyright
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