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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Shutting the Door on the Destroyer

"And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the Destroyer. These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us..." - 1 Corinthians 10:10-11 NRSV

When my husband, Joe, and I first began raising pet ducks many years ago, we had a beautiful female named Daisy. Because we also had two male ducks at the same time, we really had our hands full. It wasn't long before I began complaining and grumbling about all of the work involved with being duck owners. As I cleaned up after them each day, I found myself praying, "Lord, please don't let these pets be such a burden to me!" Even though Daisy's breed of ducks had an expected lifespan of up to 8 years, our Daisy fell ill and died after only 18 months. We were heartbroken, and I sought the Lord to find out what we could have done differently to extend her life.

The Lord showed me that my grumbling and complaining - and continually calling our little Daisy a "burden" - opened the door to the Destroyer, and caused her to die prematurely. Scripture tells us: "And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the Destroyer. These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us…" (1 Corinthians 10:10-11 NRSV) I knew that the Lord was right. I had definitely contributed to Daisy's premature death, and I repented for my sin, and asked God for His forgiveness. I also asked Him to help me to resist complaining in the days to come, knowing that I could not do it on my own.

Since I learned this painful lesson many years ago, I have done my best to resist grumbling about my pets and the work involved with their care. And it has made all the difference. Today, our duck Libby is seven years old, and our drake Larry is 19. And every time I do my daily duck chores, I declare, "Thank You, Lord, for Libby and Larry!" And I keep saying it, especially when I am cleaning up their worst messes. I am practicing God's scriptural principles which say, "In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 AMP) "Continually giving thanks to God" for Libby and Larry has not only extended their lives, but has made my chores easier and more enjoyable for me.

Pets can die for all sorts of reasons, so we shouldn't assume that we did something wrong when they pass away. But we have to remember that we have an enemy, Satan, who makes it his business to "steal and kill and destroy" every chance he gets. (John 10:10) And we mustn't make his job easier by cooperating with him by using our mouths to complain instead of give thanks. What - or who - is it that you can give thanks to God for today?

Prayer: Lord, today I ask Your forgiveness for the times that I have complained and grumbled about the people and things you have blessed me with. Give me a grateful heart, and remind me that my gratitude creates a hedge of protection around the things and people I love. Thank You that as I resist complaining, and instead "continually give thanks to God," Your divine blessings of provision and protection will continually flow in my life!

- J. M. Farro


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