Bad Breaks

A boy in Decatur, Illinois, was deeply interested in photography. He answered an ad in a magazine, ordering a book on photography. The publisher made a mistake and sent him instead a book about magic and ventriloquism, and he began practicing the art of throwing his voice. He created a wooden dummy to whom, at one time, millions of people listened on Sunday evenings – Charlie McCarthy. Edgar Bergen had turned a mistake into a fabulous career. James Whistler, the renowned artist, wanted more than anything to be a soldier. He even entered West Point as a cadet. But he failed in a chemistry examination. Later he joked about the one wrong answer that had meant the difference between passing and failing. He said, “If silicon had been a gas, I would have been a major general instead of an artist.”

Commenting on these two examples, Eric Butterworth noted, “in your own frustrating experience you can and should take a good look at a bad break. There may well be in your frustration the means of making it fruitful.

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As Pastor John Aker boarded a DC-10 at Newark Airport, the plane was nearly empty. The computer, however, had assigned him a seat next to a man named Richard. Once airborne, the two began talking; Richard had come from the Sloan-Lettering Institute for Cancer Research. His condition: skin cancer. Doctors gave him 10 months at best. He was going home to Nebraska. “May I tell you about something that changed my life: asked John. Richard nodded. John explained the way of salvation. “Will you trust Jesus for your future-for what lies beyond the grave for you?” Richard clutched his hand and said, “Pray with me.” Right there, 10,000 feet over Chicago he gave his heart to Christ.

Months later, John again boarded a plane at Newark. This time he sat next to an elderly woman who was on her way to Beatrice, Nebraska. As they talked, John was amazed to learn that this was Richard’s mother. She told him that her son was growing in the Lord, and that she had known Christ a long time. “I’m so encouraged,” said Richard’s mother. “Yes, and I’m inspired,” said John, “That Richard has followed through and that God arranged for us to sit together.” The woman replied, “You know, this wasn’t my seat. Just before you came on the plane a woman asked me to change seats with her.”

God does direct our steps! If we are yielded to Him, He will use us. As we enter each new day, let’s trust God to “arrange the seating” in our lives.

-From Our Daily Bread

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