A Sign of Life (Psalm 37:24)


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When the deplorable practice of slavery still existed in the United States, a plantation owner went duck hunting one day with his slave. The master was an atheist, but the black man was a deeply spiritual Christian. On the way, the carriage wheel lost a rim, and the slave was ordered to hammer it back on. In doing so, he accidentally hit his finger. Instantly some bad words passed from his lips, but just as quickly he was on his knees asking forgiveness. “Lord, it’s difficult sometimes to live a Christian life,” he prayed. “Sam,” said the master, “you’re a Christian. Tell me, why do you struggle and flutter to live it? Here I am an infidel is more peaceful than Christianity.” Sam had no answer. Just then some ducks flew overhead. The master instinctively raised his gun and two shots rang out. “Go after the wounded one, Sam, not the dead one.” Spotting that fluttering bird, Sam exclaimed,” I’ve got an answer for you, Boss. You said Christianity is no good because I have to struggle so. Well, I am the duck with the broken wing, and the devil’s after me. I’m alive and struggle to get away from him. But Boss, you are the dead duck!

In learning to live a consistent, Christ-honoring life, we sometimes despair over our failings. Even though we know we can experience victory, we are weak and we often fall. But Christ’s restoring grace enables us to get up and go on. In the words of the psalmist, we are not “utterly cast down.” Our struggle is a sign of life. – Dennis J. De Haan

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it –

Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart – O take and seal it,

Seal it for Thy courts above. – Robinson

To rejoice in righteousness and grieve over wickedness is proof of a genuine Christian.

  • March 4, 1985, Our Daily Bread

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