The local fire department of a Kansas farming community was called upon to put out a grass fire. But the blaze got out of hand and became too much for the under-equipped rural fire department. In desperation, the fire chief phoned the volunteer fire department of a neighboring town.
From a distance the beleaguered firemen heard the sirens and saw the flashing lights of the volunteer fire department’s only truck.
When it arrived on the scene the truck and its volunteer crew drove right into the middle of the fire. Then the men, each armed with hoses and fire extinguishers, scrambled from the truck and fought the blaze in all directions. Soon the fire was cut in two, allowing both departments to get it under control.
The townspeople cheered the volunteers for their aggressiveness and courage. The owner of the scorched field was so impressed and grateful that he donated a check of $1,000.00 to the volunteer fire department. As the donor placed the check in the volunteer fire chief’s hand a local news reporter asked him, “Tell us, Sir, What are you planning to do with that money?”
“Do with the money?” the fire chief replied. “Isn’t it obvious? We’re bringing that stupid fire truck straight to the garage and getting its brakes fixed.”
Someone has said that heroes are ordinary people who simply do their best in extraordinary circumstances. We cannot always control all the events that shape our way, nor can we always escape adversity. But with the grace and strength that God supplies, we can rise to the occasion and improve our little corner of the universe.
Consider the biblical story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. Joseph could not help the fact that he was rejected and sold as a slave by his own brothers. He could not avoid the slander that landed him in jail. Nor, once imprisoned, could he manipulate the system to escape. Joseph was virtually thrown into these situations. But in the darkest of these circumstances he strove to please and obey God. As a result he experienced God’s presence and blessing and brightened the dark corner of his world. In the end God delivered and exalted him and Joseph testified that what others intended for evil, God intended for good (Genesis 50:20).
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, sometimes I feel like a dwarf thrust into a world of giants. I feel as though I was born for adversity. Please, though I cannot control the events that shape my life, empower me and guide to make the best of them and to be a blessing to those around me. Amen.