Wallace Johnson was the builder of numerous Holiday Inn motels and convalescent hospitals. But he had quite humble beginnings:
“When I was forty years old, I worked in a sawmill. One morning the boss told me, ‘Your fired!’ Depressed and discouraged, I felt like the world had caved in on me. It was during the depression, and my wife and I greatly needed the small wages I had been earning. When I went home, I told my wife what had happened. She asked, ‘What are you going to do now?’ I replied, ‘I’m going to mortgage our little home, and go into the building business.’ My first venture was the construction of two small buildings. Within five years, I was a multi-millionaire! Today, if I could locate the man who fired me, I would sincerely thank him for what he did. At the time it happened, I didn’t understand why I was fired. Later, I saw that it was God’s unerring and wondrous plan to get me into the way of His choosing!”
In the middle of difficulties and trials we often lose sight of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Many times we grumble and complain instead of obey and trust God. Our faith in God and His Word will always make the difference in how we approach the challenges of life. I believe that great blessings from God are always just around the corner but it’s easy to miss them. Often our flesh and the world fool us into thinking that there is no blessing coming. That is not true. The Bible tells us we should always be ready to be blessed!
A young man from New York was accepted as an African Missionary and enthusiastically headed out to embrace this new calling. Tragically he soon found that his wife could not tolerate the climate. Broken-hearted he returned home. His father was a dentist and he felt no desire in becoming a dentist. His father started a small business on the side making an unfermented wine for use in the Churches for communion. He began to dabble in this business until he finally took it over. What a waste of time he must have thought as he worked at making grape juice. The business took off and prospered and the man whose last name is still on his family’s product (Welch’s Grape Juice) ended up giving millions of dollars to missions work around the world.
When the circumstances of life seem to turn against us and our dreams and ambitions, we need to trust in the God Who always provides a silver lining, even on the darkest clouds which envelop us in this life. We need to always look beyond the circumstances and ask God, “If not this, then what, Lord?” God will always answer. He will always open a new door when one shuts. God will always provide a way forward for those who trust in Him.
Robert Moffatt, Scottish missionary to Africa, came back to recruit young men for the field. He was greeted by one of the coldest British winters he could remember. Arriving at the Church where he was to speak he noted only a small group had braved the elements to hear his appeal. What disturbed him even more was that he had prepared his sermon on Proverbs 8:4, “Unto you, O men, I call,” and only ladies had shown up! I’m sure that Dr. Moffatt felt like his preparation was senseless in light of the fact that very few women could be expected to undergo the rigorous experiences of the African Mission field. But God knew his preparation was not wasted. A young boy in the organ loft that was pumping the organ out of sight was inspired and challenged by the message. Deciding to follow in the footsteps of the veteran missionary, he went to school, became a doctor, and spent the rest of his life ministering to the unreached tribes of Africa. That young boy’s name was David Livingstone.
So get ready to be blessed when your work in the Lord seems begrudgingly a waste of time. When things done seem useless get ready to be blessed! Get ready for a blessing when the preparation seems senseless and you tire of your work. Get ready for another door to open when the one you were trying to get through was closed. Hang on, because the blessing is about to be bestowed. Though our direction is not always clearly visible to us, if God has led us, we can step out in faith and expect the blessings of God to follow.
When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things go wrong that you must not quit!