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The Rebukes of Life
    The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebukes gets understanding. Proverbs 15:31,32
    In all my years I had never seen this scripture, until I found myself grumbling and complaining about my circumstances. When we begin to focus on ourselves and our many problems we become narrow minded and take our eyes off the only One who can solve them. In the midst of my whining life rebuked me!
    There is an old story about a man who felt sorry for himself because he had no shoes until he saw a man with no feet. Life suddenly rebuked him. The Lord seemed to make me aware of my complaining kind of like when you fall asleep in church as a child and your mother punches you in the arm. All of a sudden I was awakened to my surroundings and received a call from an ex-addict, one of the first I had ever ministered to almost thirty years ago.
    We had stayed in touch all these years but sometimes Roy would disappear and then all of a sudden reappear like last week when he called. He told me he was being evicted from his apartment and was trying to move into a house but didn't have the money to turn on the electricity or the water, about $500.00 dollars. If that wasn't bad enough his wife fell and broke her hip and needed a hip replacement, now keep in mind Roy had lost his job, has no insurance and was about to lose his only transportation.
    A few months prior to all of this Roy needed the money to get his dentures and gave the title to his almost new truck to some rip-off loan sharks and ended up paying almost $4000.00 for a $2000.00 debt and then came up short this past week and had to trade it for a car of much less value and ended up losing thousands of dollars. You may not realize it but much of America is forced to live like this, and its only going to get worse.
    I went to the hospital last Sunday after church and prayed for his wife Laura, who had just lost her job because of her accident, an ex-addict herself these two had suffered untold misery over the years and you could see the fear in her eyes not knowing where they would go after the surgery or how they would live and Roy was almost out of his mind even asking me if God would forgive suicide.
    I want you to understand that this is where I have spent thirty years of my life ministering to people just like Roy and yet for a few weeks I forgot where I came from and life was rebuking me at the top of its lungs, I couldn't believe from where I had fallen in such a short period of time. The devil loves to get folks feeling sorry for themselves and gets them to focus on their problems and forget the world dying for a few crumbs of bread right outside of their window.
    Well needless to say, I don't have any problems any more compared to Roy, and I am in the process of raising money for he and his little wife. How about you, how big are your problems after hearing this story, is life beginning to rebuke you too? Life is hard, but it is always harder for someone else if we will just look outside our own little circumstances, we can always find someone in worse shape.
    If this little story touched your heart and you received a rebuke from life then my advice is find someone that is going through something worse than you and help them with all of your heart, suddenly all of your problems will fade away in comparison. May God bless!
    If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled." but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? James 2:15,16
    Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin