This passage comes from the book, Women Who Loved God by Elizabeth George.
“What has God promised you, one of His precious women? The Bible contains as many as 8,000 promises. In difficulty and disaster, in trial, tragedy, trauma, and testing, in times of spiritual, emotional, and physical darkness, you can trust these promises. You can be assured that God will do for you, too, exactly as He has promised.
A young French woman once created a ‘promise box’ to teach her children that the promises of God bring special comfort in times of need. The small box contained 200 handwritten promises copied out of the Bible onto small pieces of paper. Little did she know that her own trust in the Lord would be severely tested in war-time France!
With no food available for her family- her children emaciated and hungry, wearing rags and shoes without soles- she turned to her promise box. In desperation she prayed, ‘Lord, O Lord, I have such a great need. Is there a promise here that is really for me? Show me, O Lord, what promise I can have in this time of famine, nakedness, peril, and sword.’ Blinded by tears, she reached for the box to pull out a promise and knocked it over. God’s promises showered down all around her, on her lap, and on the floor! Not one was left in the box. What supreme joy in the Lord she found as she realized that all of the promises of God were hers- in the very hour of her greatest need.”
Eighteen years ago, I found the book that this passage comes from at a yard sale. This story in particular touched my heart. I was overwhelmed by the fact that there were 8,000 promises found in the Bible. “What if I created a promise box of thirty-one promises from the Bible to review with Dan and Mitch?” I asked myself. Thus, began a search for promises I wanted them to know and think about when needed. Once I chose the thirty-one verses, I typed them out and glued them each to a different colored piece of construction paper and put them in an index card box. When the boys were little and could not read, I read them one promise each morning while they ate breakfast. This truly took only seconds each day. When they could read, each boy took a turn to read a promise in tthe morning before going to school. Being human and brothers, sometimes we HAD to read TWO promises because we could not really remember whose turn it was and an argument ensued. Just keeping it real, my friends! After many years of this simple habit, all of us hid these thirty-one bible verses in our hearts so that we can remind ourselves and others of God’s promises.
If you would like a list of the promises we used, just e-mail me your mailing address at email@example.com, and I will happily send you a free laminated bookmark with the list.
If you would like to purchase a promise box, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will let you know how to make a payment. The promise box sells for $20.00 which includes 31 laminated promises in a plastic index card holder along with U.S. Shipping.
Father God, thank you so much for each of your perfect promises. Amen.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:2
The summer before I started my second year of teaching at a junior high which was thirty five miles one way, my husband and I decided to trade in the mini van for a brand new white Honda Civic. I had never owned a white car, and I was ready for a fresh change. “Wow!” I exclaimed. “It is so clean and white.” I proudly showed my new vehicle to my friends at work, happy with the color I picked. Wanting to be very careful with my new car, I parked a few parking spaces away from the other vehicles. I thought my new car was as white as could be until a co-worker parked her new white Chevy Cobalt next to mine one day. When the cars were parked next to each other, it was obvious that Tonya’s car was much whiter than mine. While I was still thrilled with the new purchase, seeing the two cars together blatantly demonstrated to me that I should not compare my whiteness-that is my good deeds, my loving actions, my empathetic words, etc.- with those around me. Just as Tonya’s white-colored car outdid my car, there are so many others whose lives out shine mine. Comparison is not healthy. Instead, we should focus on the perfect One. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.
Lord, help us focus on you. Amen.
This inspiring story about giving credit was taken from Dale Carnegie & Associates’ recent book, How to Win Friends & Influence People In The Digital Age. August Turek, a former founding employee at MTV said, “‘Giving away credit is a magical multiplier. It works well in business and in our personal lives. But harnessing this magic requires an attitude of gratitude. Without a sincere sense of gratitude, sharing credit is just another manipulative trick bound to backfire…None of this is rocket science. It’s common sense. So why is credit stolen far more often than shared? The usual suspect is fear.’
But fear in this case should be reserved for the possibility of becoming a person who is afraid to share the spoils of success.
Turak shares a homily he once heard that makes this point well:
‘The Sea of Galilee is teeming with fish and life,’ the priest began. ‘The Dead Sea is dead and is devoid of life. They are both fed by the sparkling water of the River Jordan, so what’s the difference? The Sea of Galilee gives all its water away. The Dead Sea keeps it all for itself. Like the Dead Sea, when we keep all that is fresh and good for ourselves, we run our lives into a briny soup of salty tears.’
The principle suggested here is born not of attention-seeking activity but rather of a supreme confidence that you are a far better person when those around you know they play an important role not only in a collaborative success but also in your personal success.”
Father God, help us to give credit to those who help us in big and little ways. Amen.