Daily Devotional February 21, 2023

This past Friday, I got a call from Chris.  He sounded awkward as he asked what I was doing on Saturday.  Then he explained he needed help because he had rented a skid steer and the workers, who were pouring a large concrete slab on his property, had gotten it stuck.  He also told me the representative from the equipment rental company had already seen it and said it was so bad, they were going to have to bring an excavator to dig it out.  

Knowing the rental company was going to charge an arm and a leg for having to dig out their own piece of equipment, I said, “Surely, it can’t be that bad.”

The next day, knowing I would need as much pulling power as possible, I loaded our largest tractor on the trailer, drove to Chris’ property in Lott, and then I saw the sunk skid steer.

I was wrong.  It really was that bad.

In fact, it was so bad the only conclusion I could come to was they tried to turn the skid steer into a submarine.  At any moment, I knew a periscope would pop up through the mud, and I stared hearing the lyrics to The Beatles classis song, “We all live in a yellow submarine.”

The bottom line was, it was bad.  The good news was, even though I had gotten my skid steer stuck on more than one occasion and I had always been able to pull it out.

Sadly, it didn’t take long to figure out this was different.

While my skid steer weighs 7,000 pounds, Chris told me the machine we were trying to pull out, weighed 12,000 pounds.  In addition, while I had gotten my skid steer stuck in the past, I had never taken it for scuba lessons like the workers had with this skid steer.

Needless to say, we tried everything we could think of.  Nothing worked.

My tractor made huge ruts in the ground as tires spun, mud and muck went flying, and the skid steer never budged.

We tried different angles, putting logs under the tracks, and using the skid steer’s bucket to help pull the machine forward.  It remained stuck.  I was pretty sure it would stay that way until Jesus came back.  But giving up wasn’t an option.  We had to get it out.

Finally, after trying and trying and trying, the tractor heaved the heavy skid steer out of the ocean, back onto dry land.  I was truly relieved.

This got me thinking.

Just because it looked like it was a hopeless cause, we didn’t stop trying to get the skid steer out of the mud and muck, even though it would have been very easy to throw in the towel and let the equipment company dig it out the next day.  Giving up was not an option.

Sadly, we live in a world where we are tempted to give up whenever the going gets tough.

Instead of working on their marriage, some people call it quits the moment it becomes a little turbulent.  That is not God’s will.

Instead of sticking it out with rebellious children, some parents simply turn a blind eye and pretend there isn’t a problem.  They give up.  That is not God’s will.

Instead of helping someone in need, some people who profess to be followers of Christ, ignore the suffering of others because helping would be inconvenient, cost time, cost money, and may alter the plans of the day, they go on about their business, writing off others, and pretending everything is wonderful.  That is not God’s will.

Just know, God will never give up on you and God does not want you to give up in the struggles of living in this fallen, broken world.  God wants you to succeed.

For us, giving up is not an option.  This is what Paul meant by saying, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

Today you will face challenges.  Don’t turn your back and walk away.  Whatever it is, put your shoulder to the grindstone and start pushing.  God will help.  That’s what he does.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, as I face the trials of this day, give me strength, wisdom, and the patience to never give up.  I pray I always follow your will.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Don’t give up.  Keep plugging away and someday, you will succeed.

Also, just for the record, after we got the skid steer out of the deep end of the swimming pool, Chris said, “I’m going to be a devotional, aren’t I?”

I said, “Yep.”

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins