Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Monday, February 19 - Picking Up The Pieces

“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'” — John 4:13-14

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Athletes can seem larger than life and not subject to the same problems the rest of us face, but they do experience the same problems as everybody else, including broken relationships and divorce. Terry Bradshaw, a four-time Super Bowl champion, married Tammy in 2014, but they first dated for 13 years because both of them went through divorces in the past and were cautious about another relationship that may not last. Terry had gone through through three divorces and he feared another bad ending, but Tammy was patient with him and they’ve been happily married now for a decade.

Billy Graham was raised on a dairy farm in North Carolina where he learned the value of hard work, and he had parents who raised him to understand and live by the Bible. As a young man, he felt the call to preach and went to Wheaton College in Illinois to prepare for ministry. While in college, Graham met Ruth Bell and they married and had a wonderful life together for 63 years. They believed and lived their vows of “until death do us part.” As they raised their children, they hoped and prayed for their children to have lives without heartache or separation.

However, several of the Graham children experienced the shock and disappointment of divorce. Their daughter, Ruth Graham Dienert, wrote extensively about her experiences. Though she is thankful for a solid, loving upbringing, she still went through much grief and depression when her first husband betrayed her and her second husband was abusive. In each case, divorce was necessary, but she didn’t want to disappoint her parents or hinder her father’s ministry. When she came home, her father comforted her in the best way: a warm hug and the simple statement of “welcome home!” She always appreciated her father’s understanding.

Even though we want all marriages to be wonderful and lasting, we know that isn’t always the case. There are times where the selfishness of one person, and sometimes both people, can pull a couple apart when, at one point, they had hoped to enjoy one another for a lifetime.

When Jesus met a woman at a water well who had experienced breakups multiple times, He didn’t condemn her. He did ask her to look in the mirror and see her wrongdoing, but He gave her hope by offering forgiveness, restoration, peace of mind and eternal life. Though Jesus told her the very details of her past by stating that He knew she was married five times and was living with someone else, He spoke to her about how drinking water from the well was a picture of the refreshing water of salvation which God provides.

“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life'” (John 4:13-14). The woman at the well wanted that kind of water, and was overjoyed with what she heard so went into town to invite many others to come and see the hope of Christ. And many more from that town became believers, because of broken pieces being put together through the redeeming love of Christ.

Seasons of life may not turn out the way we thought they would, but God is ever offering His grace and mercy to fill in the gaps. His Living Water that satisfies our soul is extended to all who thirst, no matter our past or present. When we focus on living unselfishly and accept the love and forgiveness Jesus graciously gives us, we can experience and walk in the fullness of God even when circumstances are less than ideal, whether that is in marriage, friendships, teams, work or school.

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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