Thursday, July 31, 2014


(Submitted by Kerry Patton)
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14 

The Oblivious Ant
So there I was, sitting in the front passenger seat of Donnie O’Fallon’s pickup in Azle, Texas.  He and I were on a mission of mercy for a member of our faith family.  Our mission had been a success, but before we headed back to Weatherford, we had stopped momentarily at a business.  I waited in the truck.

As I sat there in the air conditioning, listening to the radio and waiting for Donnie to return, I observed a rather large insect…an ant, as it crawled across the windshield.  Back and forth, up and down the glass it crawled.  Was it looking for food, water, or some sense of the trail that would lead it back to the ant mound that it called home?  I didn’t know.  I did feel a bit of pity on it though, because I knew that very shortly, Donnie would return and we would head back to Weatherford.  The ant would likely blow off the truck…Lord knows HOW far from where it had come from.  Even if I had wanted to get it back to its mound, I had no idea where that would be.  That ant would NEVER find its way back home.  Never.  It would live its entire life lost…perhaps not even knowing that it was lost, and then it would die.  I don’t want to blow too much drama into the scene…but this was an ant…without hope.

Oblivious People
Driving back to Weatherford, Donnie and I passed many dozens of people.  People in passing cars, pedestrians, and people on bicycles.  Did these people have hope?  Shortly before getting to the bridge that crosses Lake Weatherford, half of the road was closed due to road construction.  So we sat still for several minutes waiting for a flagman to give us the signal that we could proceed.  An obviously weary man sat in the road on a water cooler holding a sign that said “STOP” on one side, and “Proceed Slowly” on the other.  The temperature bearing down on that poor man must have been near 110 degrees reflecting up off the road.  He hid his face under his helmet and left arm to reduce the glare from the mid-day sun.  I wondered what this man’s life was like.  How many hours would he be able to endure the torturous heat?  I did pity him and wished I could get him out of the sun. 

Shortly, the flagman reached up and spoke into the mic of a walkie-talkie he had.  He then stood, turned his sign so that it read “Proceed Slowly” and waved us to move forward.  As we drove away, I wondered if the man knew Jesus.  Or was he like that little ant who had been slaving away on the windshield of Donnie’s truck...oblivious to the fact that he was lost?  But there was a difference, wasn’t there?  Because unlike the ant…this poor man, sweltering in the heat was NOT without hope!

While he may have been lost spiritually (and I only speculate that he may have been for the sake of this devotion), he was not without hope.  Jesus of Nazareth had brought that flagman the same hope that you and I have.  But did the man know?  That’s where you and I become so very important.  As followers of Jesus, we are here to share the Hope of Glory, communicate the love of Christ in our words and deeds, and let the people of the world around us know that they are NOT without hope.

A Survivor
Donnie and I arrived back at our destination in Weatherford.  He pulled into a parking spot and turned off the truck’s engine.  As I unbuckled my seatbelt, looking forward through the windshield, what did I see?  Amazingly, that crazy little ant!  It seems that it had found a place to lay low and had survived the journey from Azle to Weatherford.  He hadn’t blown off the truck after all.  “Welcome to Weatherford, Ant…” 

Now I was thinking about second chances…If I get to see that road construction worker again, I would like to get to know him a bit.  I want to let him know that I appreciate him suffering the heat for my safety.  I’d like to hand him a soft drink or a bottle of Gatorade and share a bit with him about Hope.  I may learn that he is well acquainted with Jesus, but I could also be the person who helps him know Hope…for the very first time.

Who will the Lord place in our path today for his service?  How will he get our attention?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3

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