Carl's Win - A Family Devotional

Description

Josh McDowell shares tips for teaching your children patience and perseverance.

God Commands Perseverance. 

Bible Reading of the Day: Read Hebrews 12:1-3.

Verse of the Day: “Never get tired of doing good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

Carl tossed his running shoes onto the front seat and got into the car. “I can’t believe you’re making me do this,” he told his father.

“I’m not making you do it, Son,” Dad replied. “You agreed to this when you joined the track team.”

“Yeah, but I don’t want to be on the track team anymore. I’m sick of it! I haven’t even won a single race. But you won’t let me quit!”

Dad drove in silence for a few moments, while Carl moped. Finally, Dad cleared his throat. “Carl,” he said, “how many models do you have on that shelf in your room?”

Carl was puzzled by the shift in the conversation, but he closed his eyes to picture his room in his mind. He counted the model cars, ships, and planes he and his dad had made together, a collection he was proud of. “I don’t know,” he answered at last. “Around nineteen or twenty.”

“How many of those models would you have finished if I had let you give up when you wanted to?” Dad asked.

Carl knew what his dad was going to say now. “I don’t know,” he said, the sullen tone entering his voice again.

“Well,” Dad said. “I think I do. I don’t think you’d have a single model on that shelf if I hadn’t insisted that you finish each one.”

They drove a while in silence. Then Dad said, “Carl, I want you to learn to persevere … not just in building models, but in running track, in doing schoolwork— and especially in following Jesus.” Dad inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly. “You see, Son, God commands us to persevere. He wants us to obey him when it’s hard as well as when it’s easy. Sticking with the track team is good practice for learning how to persevere in your faith … understand?”

Carl wasn’t smiling, but his tone had softened. “I guess,” he said, as Dad pulled to a stop at the track field. He got out and leaned back in the car to grab his running shoes. “I don’t have to like it, do I?”

Dad smiled wryly. “No,” he said with a sigh. “You don’t have to like it.” Dad met Carl back at the car after the track meet ended. Carl was sweaty and dirty, but he was smiling. “I won the 100-yard event, Dad!” he said. “I actually won!” “I know,” Dad said, smiling. “I saw. But be careful, Son.” “What?” Carl asked, the smiled disappearing from his face. “Why?” Dad’s smile appeared again. “You’re starting to sound like you like it!” he said.

TO DO: Choose a family project—like putting together a model or a jigsaw puzzle—that requires patience and perseverance, and complete it together. As you work on it together, talk about perseverance and why it’s important.

TO PRAY: “Heavenly Father, help us to never get tired of doing good.”

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