Links Daily Devotional

The Winning Attitude, Part 15

“In everything give thanks…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV)

I’m writing this on the eve of Good Friday, the day we remember the crucifixion of Jesus. Recently at church, we sang a popular praise song. When we came to the words, “O the wonderful cross,” I cringed. What’s so wonderful about a cross? Or anyone’s death?

I lost one of my dearest friends, Craig Johnson, in early January. Age 62. I’m thankful for his friendship, but I wept in anger at his early death. To this day I feel it was not the will of God.

On March 21, another friend died. Jack Fleck. Age 92. I’m thankful for the pleasure of playing with him when I was on the PGA Tour. Jack, you may remember, became famous when he defeated Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff for the 1955 U.S. Open. He led a godly life. But I was upset that his death passed by almost unnoticed.

At times we may feel everything about the death of a loved one is wrong. Scriptures reveal that death is an enemy, but one day will cease: “The last enemy to be destroyed shall be death” (1 Corinthians 15: 26).

My feelings about the cross were inaccurate. There is something wonderful about it. Paul writes, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). And further, he says, “To die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

My wife Lorraine, interrupted me as I was writing a few moments ago. She has a practice of leaving three bottles of water for our garbage man and his two helpers. Today he looked into her eyes and said, “Thank you.”

Lorraine felt such warmth from his words she said, “I saw the eyes of Jesus.” Repeating herself, tears began to flow from her eyes.

“It’s all because of Dick Halverson,” she said, reminding us of one of our dearest mentors, now deceased. “He taught us to respect the public servant… janitor, shoe shine man, waitress, or our garbage man. I’m so thankful for what Dick taught us.”

With the wonder of the resurrection still fresh in our minds, I’d like to invite you to join me in a prayer of thanksgiving to the Father for sending his Son. As I give thanks for my dear friends Craig, Jack and Dick, ask yourself at this moment, Is there anyone in my life for whom I want to give thanks?

Jim Hiskey
April 23, 2014
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