Story/Thought: At Peace

Short Story

Short StoryIn the distance, Jane heard sirens and gunfire. While her body trembled sometimes at the noise, she wasn’t terrified. Her daddy was taking care of her.

One day at the playground someone said something very mean to Jane. The words stung. But then she smiled. Her daddy loved her.

Another time Jane messed up badly and broke a glass dish. She felt terrible—and so very clumsy. But her heart rested when she remembered that even so, her daddy still loved her.

At night, Jane curled up in bed and slept contentedly. She had no cause to fear. Her daddy was still awake.

She was at peace in her daddy’s care.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Psalm 121 (KJV)

God doesn’t promise everything will go our way or we won’t suffer (in fact, He warns we will have tribulations—John 16:33)—but He does promise to watch over us night and day, working all things for good (Romans 8:28). And despite how confident we are sometimes that we know what is best, God truly knows what is best—He sees eternity’s grand picture—and He is in charge of everything. We can be at peace in Him.

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Story: Swallowing Poison Again?

Jared had been brought up on a very unusual diet—or I should say unusual to us. In the prison in which he was born to one of the prisoners, it was the standard fare. All of the inmates were fed poisoned food. Yes, that’s right—the food had poison in it—the sort of slow poison that gradually weakened and killed over many years.

The amazingly good news was that Jared was no longer a prisoner. He’d been ransomed and set free. In fact, he’d been adopted by the most wonderful father you could imagine.

So you might imagine Jared’s brother Ethan’s surprise when he walked into the room and saw Jared eating poisoned food.

“Jared, why are you eating that again?” his brother Ethan asked.

Jared shrugged. “I just can’t help it,” he mumbled. “I’ve always eaten this.”

Ethan grabbed the plate out of his brother’s hands. “You can to help it!” he replied. “Father set you free—you’re not a prisoner. You don’t have to eat this anymore. There’s lots of good food to be had.”

Jared reached for the plate. “Just leave me alone for now. I’m just so tired—I need this.”

“You’ll only get more tired eating that,” Ethan remarked. “Come on, Jared, don’t you remember how this poison works? It messes with your mind, so you can’t think clearly. It takes away your energy, so you’re unable to accomplish anything of value. It slowly destroys you.”

Jared did remember. Oh, why was he swallowing poison again?

“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2 (ESV)

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Ephesians 6:1-4 (ESV)

Story: Take Off the Mask

On the outside, Olivia looked like she had it all together. She always wore a smile and never looked frazzled or tired. Her secret?

A mask. It was easy to look put together wearing a mask. No matter how out of sorts inside she felt, her mask was always smiling. No matter how bad the sickness from which she suffered was, her mask always looked healthy and vibrant.

Only there were a lot of problems with wearing a mask. For one, it kept her from getting better. Underneath the mask, Olivia was suffering from a terrible illness, and the mask only trapped it all inside, making it worse and keeping her from getting help. After all, others had no idea she was even sick!

One day, Olivia realized she couldn’t handle the mask any longer. She needed help. Hesitatingly, she allowed a friend to see under the mask. To her great surprise, her friend didn’t freak out. Instead, she pulled up her own mask, showing that she, too, was trapping an illness inside. Honest with each other at last, they were able to help one another and get the treatment they needed. Oh, how freeing it was to let the mask fall off!

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 5:7 (ESV)

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16 (ESV)

Story: Always a Way of Escape

“We’ve got you now.”

The evil voice came over the loudspeaker, with a hideous laugh.

Sam shuddered. It did indeed seem as if he was trapped. Hedges surrounded him on every side, looming above him and alongside him, as if they were about to devour him. All around was darkness. It was hopeless. Despair gripped his heart.

“I’ll always provide a way of escape”—his father’s words rang through his mind.

Sam looked around. He sure didn’t see a way to escape this. But his father never lied. “Father, show me the way of escape,” he cried. He looked closer at the hedges. Was that an opening he saw? There seemed to be a faint light coming through.

Sam moved closer to investigate. Sure enough, where before all had appeared to be darkness, he now could clearly see a small tunnel in the hedge. It wasn’t necessarily easy fitting through it, but Sam could make it. He got on his hands and knees and crawled through the hedge. The branches poked him, but on the other side—yes, it was true—he was free!

His father had indeed provided a way of escape—he just had to look for it.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

Short Story: Truth Glasses

Darkness—oppressive darkness. It was all Emma could see. No matter which way she looked, there it was staring back at her. Each path she could take led to the same thing: more darkness. What had become of light? Did it even exist anymore?

Perhaps it did, somewhere. Emma knew at the end of her journey there’d be light. But there was no more light on the journey, of that she felt sure.

Emma’s last several miles had been filled with obstacles. Now all she could see were dark shadows stretching out before her.

“It’s just so discouraging,” Emma moaned to her traveling companion, Sarah. “I’m not sure why my father set me on this journey in the first place.”

“Okay, I know it seems discouraging,” Sarah replied. “But you’re not seeing the truth, Emma. Yes, there’s darkness, but there’s light too. There’s night, but there’s also day. You’ve got to put those glasses on.”

“Glasses?” Emma asked listlessly.

“Yes, you know, the ones your father gave you.”

Right—the glasses. Her father had given her glasses to help her see the world as it really was. Emma was pretty sure the glasses wouldn’t change anything—that she was already seeing everything accurately—but she pulled them out and dutifully held them up to her eyes anyway.

Wait—there was light amid what before had seemed only darkness! What a difference it made to look at the situation through the lenses of truth.


“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:7 (ESV)

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'” John 8:31-32 (ESV)

Evangelism Is Good…But I Just Can’t Do It

I was blessed to be brought up hearing about Jesus and to find forgiveness in Him at an early age. I was active in serving within the church. Yet at the same time, I could count on one hand the people I’d shared the gospel with—and then, it had been quite poorly.

It’s not that I didn’t want to share—I did. Only I was scared. What if I said the wrong thing and turned someone off? What if they asked a question I couldn’t handle? Besides, I didn’t even have opportunities to share, did I? Naturally reserved as I was, I was hardly the kind of girl to approach a stranger.

Several years ago, though, God began convicting my heart in this area.

One time while out with friends, one of the people in the group stopped and shared the gospel with a homeless man—a man I had walked right by. That interaction got me thinking. Perhaps I had more opportunities than I thought.

Later, I attended the funeral for a man who actively shared the gospel. Each person who came was given a gospel of John to give away. That gospel burned a whole in my pocket for months. I simply couldn’t figure out how to give it away.

I began asking God to show me how to share Him and absorbing the resources He sent. I collected tracts, watched videos, and read books. I watched countless YouTube videos from Ray Comfort (LivingWaters.com). As I prayed more for the lost around me, my heart grew heavier for their salvation. But I still couldn’t bring myself to actually hand out a tract or start a conversation.

I eventually got invited to join a group that was going to a local mall to witness. I started the evening so scared I was convinced the ground would open up and swallow me, but then I got to watch the kind of amazing conversations we were able to have with complete strangers. I wish I could describe the joy of watching the Lord work in someone’s heart as I shared—I couldn’t believe I’d let fear keep me from the incredible privilege of proclaiming the Good News.

Now, many years and hundreds of gospel conversations later, I continue to be amazed at the divine appointments God has, and at how evangelism blesses me, reminding me of God’s salvation, and driving me to my knees and His Word.

As I look back, there are two key truths that helped me—and they are truths I have to keep going back to. The first is the reality of eternity. One analogy that Ray Comfort shared really got to me: that of a burning building. If a building was on fire, I wouldn’t worry about whether I was interrupting someone or if I said it the right way or if they thought I was crazy; I would tell people the building was on fire! Did I not believe that those around me were in even greater danger? A famous atheist put it well: “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”[1]

The second truth is that evangelism isn’t about me. A good deal of my fear and nervousness comes when I fall into thinking I have to have it figured out or get it right. Yet evangelism is about the message, not the messenger.

If you’ve not yet experienced the joy of sharing Jesus with someone, I hope you won’t wait to begin! Evangelism is a huge privilege God offers to each one of His children.


First published in the Immanuel Bible Church Women’s Ministry Newsletter; reprinted with permission.

[1] Penn Jillette, “A Gift of a Bible,” video, 3:00-3:38, July 8, 2010, https://youtu.be/6md638smQd8

Short Story: Ignoring the Lantern

Short Story: Ignoring the Lantern

Short Story: Ignoring the LanternThe children started on their journey with a light heart. Their father had given them everything they needed to make the journey, including a lantern to light their path.

There was just one problem. As odd as it might sound, the children weren’t using their lantern. They carried it with them–but they didn’t turn it on. Instead, they tried to force their way through in the darkness.

It was comically sad to watch their progress. They agonized over their steps, stumbling forward, all the while failing to turn on the lantern that would have illuminated their path. They complained about the darkness, allowed discouragement and depression to grip their heart, and wondered if their father had forgotten them. Yet all the while, they failed to turn on the lantern he’d provided. They carried it with them and talked about it with one another, but it didn’t seem to occur to them that it would only light their path if they actually turned it on. The few brief times they turned it on, they did so out of ritual, not really using it to look at the path.

Oh, how they were missing out! Had they only let it, they’d have discovered that the lantern’s light would have dispelled the darkness and shown them the truth about the path on which they were walking. When, oh when, would they let it light their path?

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 (ESV)

Story: Comparison Forest

Comparison Forest was a strange forest indeed.

The fact that it had a lot of different types of trees in it didn’t make it strange. What made Comparison Forest unique was how all the trees compared themselves with each other.

The maples all tried hard to stretch their branches higher, hoping to achieve the oak’s height. They wished they could produce the acorns the squirrels and other animals loved so well. Sometimes, one could even hear an audible sigh in the forest as the maples lamented not being oaks. The fact that they offered brilliant colors each fall and delicious syrup each spring (plus seeds the animals loved) didn’t seem very important to them.

On the flip side, the oaks could often be seen drooping their branches in an attempt to look like maples. They felt terrible about being so large and conspicuous. Why couldn’t they be maples?

Then there were the pine trees. They hated how sappy and prickly they were (and how soft their wood was) and wished they could have beautiful leaves and firmer wood like the maples and oaks. It didn’t occur to them what protection and beauty they provided during the winter months when the maples and oaks lost those leaves.

Each tree in the forest was too busy comparing to realize that each of them had a role to play and gift to give.

“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them:…” Romans 12:4-6 (ESV)

Story: The Search for the Perfect Food

Steak - Story
  • Steak - Story“This steak is amazing!”

Jessica exclaimed, heartily digging into her steak.

“You think so? I was thinking that it’s not nearly as delicious as that Chinese place we went last night.”

Jessica shook her head at her sister’s comment. It didn’t seem that Sue could be contented by anything. When they were at the Chinese restaurant down the street, all Sue could talk about was how she wanted a steak.

“Perhaps next time we should try something totally different—maybe Indian food,” Jessica suggested.

Sue’s eyes lit up. “That sounds great! Let’s do it.”

Only when eating the Indian food, Sue found it too spicy. So next they tried a Greek restaurant…only to discover it was too bland for Sue.

Next stop: a Mexican restaurant famous for their tasty dishes. Only while eating Mexican, all Sue could think of was how much better Italian would be.

Jessica hesitatingly agreed to go to an Italian restaurant the next time her sister asked her out to eat. But when Sue began complaining about all the tomatoes and cheese and about how what they really needed was a good, all-American steak, Jessica decided she’d had enough.

“You know, Sue, food can’t make you content,” Jessica pointed out. “Maybe you’re expecting it to do more than it was designed to do.”


Do we look for contentment in things that can’t bring it? Or have we learned the secret of being content wherever we are?

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:11-13 (KJV)

Story: Unused Medicine

Maureen stared at the shelves of medicines in awe. Why, Sarah’s medicine cabinet rivaled any pharmacy’s…as did her knowledge of the different medications.

“What does this one do?” Maureen asked, holding up a bottle of pink pills.

“Oh, that’s an antibiotic for infections. It—” Sarah’s voice cut off in a cough that caused her to double over in pain.

“Are you okay?” Maureen asked, concerned.

After the coughing finally finished, Sarah replied in a shaky voice, “I’m fine. I just have a bad infection. But no worries.”

“What’s this cream for?” Maureen asked, pointing to a cream on the shelf.

“Oh, that helps skin infections,” came the quick reply.

Maureen glanced at her friend in confusion. She knew her friend had often complained about her skin infections. In fact, Sarah was constantly sick. “I don’t get it,” she confessed. “If you have all of these medicines, why are you always so sick?”

Sarah hardly looked up from the letter she was attempting to write. “I don’t know. I’ve had the medicines for years, but I guess I’m just doomed to sickness.”

Maureen turned from the medicine cabinet and sat next to her friend. What could be the problem? “Do you take the medicine like it’s prescribed?”

Sarah blushed. “Well, now that you mention it, no, I guess I don’t.”

“So let me get this straight. You have all of these medications, and know all about them, but you don’t take them?”

Sarah nodded, blushing more. “I guess that’s about right.”

Maureen shook her head in disbelief. “I guess we both know now why they’re not working. Sarah, you have to act on what you know.”

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22-25 (KJV)