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Monday, July 27

Devotional by Brian Chilton

Today, I met a gentleman who worked for Terminex. We had a wonderful conversation about life and his love for martial arts. The gentleman is a third-degree black belt. Having had a fascination with martial arts and a desire to learn the art form, he encouraged me to take courses, while also sharing some useful tips to use in my workouts with the heavy bag. Piquing my curiosity to take martial arts classes, he gave some sage advice he shares with all new students, “Don’t always look to the destination. Learn from the process. Everyone wants to be a martial arts star, but few want to put in the countless hours that it takes to master the craft.” His words resonated with me as I believe this was a divine encounter.

Often, we find ourselves in the state of David, inquiring, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me” (Ps. 13:1)? We may feel like the Lord has neglected us or placed us in a circumstance that seems especially dark and trying. We may feel like the Lord has forgotten us. But like the martial arts instructor noted, we need to understand that God is working through the process. God “acts on behalf of the one who waits for him” (Isa. 64:4). As Dr. Charles Stanley stated, “There’s not a man or woman whom God used in a powerful way who didn’t first face a long and difficult time of waiting. So don’t despair … take it as the Father’s special favor and guidance in your life.” While we know that we have a wonderful destination planned for us, perhaps we should spend more time learning from the processes that God uses to mold us and shape us into the people he wants us to be.

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