Daily Devotional August 17, 2020

Every year, one of my biggest concerns is if I will have enough hay to feed the cows through the winter.  Sometimes, I am blessed to have more than enough.  Sometimes,  I barley squeak by.  Sometimes, only though the grace of God and good friends, am I able to make it.  It is a never ending concern.

Making hay doesn’t happen overnight.  You have to grow the hay, cut the hay, rake the hay, bale the hay, and transport the hay.  It’s a lot.

Dee and I are partners in a large hay field.  Last week, he told me he had enough hay and I could have all the hay from the field.  That way I wouldn’t have to worry.  This is one of the most generous things anyone has ever done for me.

A few days ago, I hopped on my tractor and took the round baler to the field to start making bales.  Dee was there with his tractor to rake the hay. 

As I pulled into the field, I noticed Dee waving.  It was a very friendly gesture that assured me the day was going to go well.   I waved back.  But then I noticed Dee’s wave became more exaggerated and he began running.  He wasn’t waving.  He was trying to get away from the swarm of bumble bees that had erupted beneath his feet.  Luckily, he only got stung three times.  He said, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

We spent the entire day, raking and baling.  Dee’s dad even came over to help. 

This weekend it was time to transport, unload, and stack the large hay bales.  While I used my tractor to unload and stack the hay, Dee walked over to the barn.  That’s when he was attacked by wasps.  Interestingly, I didn’t even know wasps were in the barn.  They had never attacked me.  Dee got stung again.

After three or four loads, Dee was going back to the field for more bales while I continued to stack the hay.  As he began to open the gate, he saw wasps everywhere.  That’s when he discovered a wasp’s nest  in the square tubing.  Luckily, this time he was quick enough to get out of harm’s way.  I sprayed the nest and continued stacking hay.

The point to this long rambling story is that Dee was doing a good deed using his time and equipment to help me and yet, he got stung numerous times.  You would think that doing a good deed meant life would simply smile and make Dee’s day easier.  It was just the opposite.  So why should you do good deeds if you don’t benefit?  

It is clear that we are saved by faith and nothing else.  But if our faith is real, then it manifests itself in our actions, which are not about us, but about making this world a better place for others.  Our actions can point people to Jesus.  That’s what it’s all about.

James said:  “My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people say they have faith but do nothing to show it?  Claiming to have faith can’t save anyone, can it?  Imagine a brother or sister who is naked and never has enough to eat.  What if one of you said, “Go in peace!  Stay warm!  Have a nice meal!”?  What good is it if you don’t actually give them what their body needs?  In the same way, faith is dead when it doesn’t result in faithful activity.”  (James 2:14-17)

Today, make it a point to do something to lighten someone’s load.  It matters to God.  And if it matters to God, then it matters to those who love God.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, I pray my light shines before others so that they are drawn to your love and grace.  Use me for your purpose.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

As followers of Christ, we are called to live for something beyond ourselves.  We have a greater purpose.  That’s a good thing.

Also, if you need to know if you have wasps or bumble bees at your place, have Dee come over.  They will find him.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins