Under His Hand

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:5-7.

Jeanie and I had been married for three years, and our oldest son was only a few weeks old in 1973, when we moved our mobile home from the Oklahoma City area to my parent’s farm in western Oklahoma. I had graduated from college at midterm, and had found a sales job with an automotive parts distributorship. All went well until the oil shortage. On October 16, 1973, OPEC cut production of oil, and placed an embargo on shipments of oil to the west. Gas rationing began, gas prices went up – as cars were driven less, fewer parts wore out. I was laid off in December 1973 a week before Christmas. In a few weeks, I went to work for another parts company, but this lasted for only a couple of months. Jeanie went back to work, and I was home taking care of our one-year-old son.

It was a very frustrating time of being without work. I began to read through the New Testament, and for the first time read completely through it. I decided I would go back to Oklahoma City. Go back to college. Live with my sister until I could afford to move my family back. The night before I was leaving, my father-in-law called to offer me a job at the cotton gin where he was the manager. This would not be a white collar job. It would be a minimum wage hard work kind of job. I didn’t want to do it. After all I had a college degree. But then I had been reading God’s Word, and God spoke to me about my pride. God spoke to me, and I knew what He wanted me to do. So very often, doing the right thing and the best thing, is the hardest thing to do.

I went to work for my father-in-law, Leon Pruet. It was one of the best decisions that I have made in my life. We tore out old machinery, and installed new machinery through the summer. In the fall, I stayed on for the ginning season, and worked on the press where the cotton is compressed into bales. I gained a different kind of education, and gained a deep respect for the godly life my father-in-law led. Pride almost robbed me of one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Through that step of humility I gained character, strength, determination, wisdom, and a life path that has led me to greater service for the Lord. Through what was one of the hardest decisions, and most humbling decisions of my life, I gained a life. Don’t let pride rob you of life! Place yourself, place your life under His hand and He will lift you up when the time is right.

(So very often, doing the right thing and the best thing, is the hardest thing to do. However, being under the hand of God is always the best place to be.)

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