More From John Hall

October 1, 2023 by John Hall (North Carolina, USA)

This is my first blog post, so please be patient with an old man.

My devotional for October 1, 2023, speaks to my love for birds, but truth is, I love all animals and the marvelous ways God created them. Perhaps my favorite animal is dogs, and my Wheaten Terrier Marley is high on my list.

As I shared in my devotional, the birds at my feeder remind me of many Biblical lessons, including God’s care for even the smallest of creatures and the story of the wedding feast and how all are welcome at God’s table. My dog makes me think of other lessons, not the least of which is how Jesus and Marley are the best examples of unconditional love in my life.

One interesting trait of Marley is something more often associated with cats. She loves to chase light. Many times when I am sitting at my breakfast table reading emails or internet content on my cell phone, the overhead light reflects off the face of my phone and casts a light on the wall that moves as I shift the phone in my hand. My phone is very like a laser light pointer. Marley immediately goes into chase mode and valiantly tries to catch the light.

As I watch Marley, I am reminded of a story sent to me years ago by a colleague. The story goes that a man prayed diligently for God to give him a job, a worthy task. Eventually, God told him to push against a rock, which he did for months. Since his efforts couldn’t move the rock, the man eventually gave up. When God came to the man and asked why he stopped, he told God that he stopped because nothing was happening. But God told him that something was happening—through his efforts, he had become more disciplined and stronger. God would move the rock in his timing.

What a great lesson for my faith journey—a journey that often finds me chasing Jesus, the light of the world (see Jn. 8:12), but not “catching” him or “pushing the rock” of my expectations and continually falling short (see Rom. 3:23).

My comfort comes in another of my favorite Bible verses, Galatians 6:9, where Paul says, “So let us not grow weary of doing good for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” The bottom line is, I know I need to trust the Lord and keep chasing and pushing! In God’s time, God will bring a good plan for my life to fruition.

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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