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Thank God It's Just a Dent!

And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. - 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

My friend Joe got a little red-faced when I asked him about the dent in the hood of his pickup, but he was thankful too. He had cut down an overgrown tree in his front yard, and he'd decided to use his pickup to remove the stump. He wrapped one end of a tow strap around the roots and hooked the other end to the front of his truck.

Joe backed up the truck to take up slack on the strap; then he inched backwards. The tow strap stretched and drew taut like a rubber band. Joe thought the root would pull up gradually from the ground, but suddenly the root ball let go and sprang toward him like a cannonball from a giant sling shot. It glanced off the front edge of his hood, flew over the cab, and came to rest behind the truck.

Joe took a lot of teasing about that dent in his hood and he may get a little more now. But he's thankful; we might have been attending his funeral.

When trouble comes into our lives, including much more serious trouble than a dented hood, the eyes of faith can see ways in which things could have been worse. God constantly restrains evil from doing worse damage in our lives. Perhaps this is one reason why the apostle Paul commands us to give thanks in all circumstances.

The devotional message, “Thank God It's Just a Dent!”, was written by Pastor Mark Stephenson, and appeared in “Today”,; August 8, 2008. Used here with permission from the website.