Volume 16.11 | November 2015

  • Hard times

    At the time I’m writing this, my car has been giving me trouble. It’s been like this for a while; and whenever it seems like it’s fixed, it’s not long before something goes wrong again. It’s already cost quite a bit of time and money, and it’s looking like more will be required before the […]

  • The caverns

    For my son’s twelfth birthday, he wanted to explore underground caverns near our home. I was less enthusiastic, but despite my efforts to come up with alternatives, he couldn’t be dissuaded, so on a blistering hot day, my sister-in-law and I set out with our three children. Walking into the mouth of a huge cave, […]

  • Squeezed

    There have probably been times when you’ve felt like you’ve been squeezed to the last drop and you didn’t have an ounce of strength or willpower left. The apostle Paul admitted to “despairing even of life,”1 and I’m sure that many of us have gone to those depths at one time or another. We’ve reached […]

  • No challenge too great

    The voices seemed muffled as I slowly woke out of the anesthesia following a medical procedure on my back. I heard the doctor’s gloomy prognosis: “She might not be able to live a normal life and certainly she shouldn’t have any children with a serious back condition like this.” Another concurred: “She might be confined […]

  • Painting a rainbow from life’s darkest storm

    I first learned about Fu-Hua Chuang when my family and I watched a documentary that featured several severely disabled yet talented young people. I was struck by the radiant smile that seemed to illuminate her whole being, reflecting the inner beauty of her soul. In 1994, Fu-Hua was a lively and promising ten-year-old Taiwanese girl […]

  • Life as a climb

    The other day, some friends took me on what I thought would be a short climb. We parked the car and took a look at the summit. We got out our climbing gear and started putting on our boots and gathering what we needed in our backpacks. It doesn’t seem that far or that difficult. […]

  • The secret supply

    There is an old fable about two neighbors who planted similar orchards. One watered his plants every day, but the other, only every few days. When the dry season came, the trees of the first farmer withered, but the trees of the second kept growing steadily. Since these trees hadn’t been watered so often, their […]

  • A card full of hope

    He looked so sad when I first saw him. He was quite a few years older than I, but like I did during my first days in that impersonal hospital ward, he felt scared and worried. My bed was on the other side of the room, but I gave him a reassuring smile. “It will […]

  • Hiding place

    In the tempestuous, stormy moments of our lives, we often focus so intently on finding a way of escape or rescue that we altogether forget about the most reliable and true source of shelter and refuge. Last night, sleep seemed to totally elude me. I had been facing a low moment of discouragement, doubt, and […]

  • Sharing the balm of love

    Some years back, at midnight on March 17—Saint Patrick’s Day—I received a call from my 27-year-old son’s roommate in Bermuda. My boy was missing, and his clothing had been found on a nearby beach. My first reaction was to get on my knees and cry out to God in prayer. As I did, I saw […]

  • The final straw

    Answer me speedily, O Lord; my spirit fails! … I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.”—Psalm 143:7; Micah 7:7 NLT “The straw that breaks the camel’s back” is the final item in a collection of burdens or troubles, perhaps even a seemingly small thing […]

  • Climb on the rock

    “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”1 “The Lord is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide.”2 If you feel overwhelmed, climb up on the Rock. You have Me, the Rock, and you can rest in My ability to keep you through anything that threatens […]