297 Those Old Worn-Out Shoes
Israel was a carpenter who lived with his six children in the suburbs, barely making ends meet. All of his children were in need of shoes.
Israel's work had dwindled in the past two weeks due to bad rainy weather. As he was cursing to himself and scraping together enough money to buy shoes for his children, his washing machine broke down.
Just his luck, Israel muttered to himself. As if life was not difficult enough. Israel definitely did not have enough money for a new washing machine, so he looked through the classified ads for a used washing machine.
Israel eventually found a seller, called him up, and agreed to drive over to the seller's house the next day to take a look at the washing machine.
The next day, Israel came to the seller's house and was greeted by the seller and his wife. As they walked through the house, Israel noticed that the home was rather lavish and perfectly kept.
Israel inspected the washing machine to his satisfaction, paid the seller for the washing machine, and made arrangements for pick up.
As Israel was about to leave, he complimented the seller and wife and how beautiful their house was. Israel made an off-hand comment that he was having a difficult enough time to keep all six of his children in shoes, let alone keep his small home clean with them running around everywhere.
All of the sudden, the seller's wife burst into tears and ran out. Israel turned to the seller perplexed and stammered out an apology if he offended her.
The seller looked at Israel sadly and quietly explained that they only have one child paralyzed from birth. They never had a chance to buy shoes or experience a dirty house from their child running around.
When Israel went home, he picked up some of the old shoes lying around the house - shoes that went through mud, skipped rope, climbed trees, and ran through fields. Israel knelt down and silently gave thanks to God for the blessing of the old worn-out shoes in his house.
Sometimes we think too much about the worn-out shoes in our own lives - the trials, the sorrows, the burdens, but we do not think to give praise to God for the feet that wear those shoes. Let us not forget all the blessings God has given us.
- Numbers 6:24-26; 2 Corinthians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:8