Text Illustrations
Those Little Maybe’s! (08.12.05--Character Counts!--Romans 5: 3-4)


A drought tests the metal of a man. It tests his fortitude and his faithfulness. It also tests his resourcefulness and his ingenuity.


I come from a long line of “resourceful” folks who seemed to see in every bleak and forlorn circumstance in life that little something that gives you hope. My grandfather always called it those little “maybe’s” that just might get you through the tough times if only you have the eyes to see them. “They’re everywhere!” He’d say. “But they’re never easy to see. If you don’t see them with the eyes of faith, they may not be visible at all.” That’s the kind of attitude that set my grandfather apart from other men. He just had a knack for seeing those little “maybe’s” when times got tough.



I thought of him the other day as one of those “maybe’s” snuck into my life. Locked in one of the worst droughts we’ve experienced in years, I had become very concerned for the many trees that line our valley. No Name Creek has been dry for weeks and the ground around our home is concrete hard and dusty. We badly need rain and my concern was for the beautiful beech trees that shelter our little home. I dare not try to water them as that might run the well dry. Seeing no alternative but to let things happen as they may, I resigned myself to watch and wait. That’s when a “maybe” snuck into view. The dehumidifier! Why let all that precious water go down the drain? I could take the several gallons of distilled humidity and dump it on a new tree every day. Then, just maybe, I can sustain some of the trees despite the drought.


Sometimes its the little things, the “maybe’s” that serve to shape our character the most. F. B. Meyer writes: “The supreme test of goodness is not in the greater but in the smaller incidents of our character and practice; not what we are when standing in the searchlight of public scrutiny, but when we reach the firelight flicker of our homes; not what we are when some clarion-call rings through the air, summoning us to fight for life and liberty, but our attitude when we are called to sentry-duty in the grey morning, when the watch-fire is burning low. It is impossible to be our best at the supreme moment if character is corroded and eaten into by daily inconsistency, unfaithfulness, and besetting sin. (F.B. Meyer in Our Daily Walk.)


The Bible tells us that “. . . suffering produces perseverance, character; and character hope.” (Romans 5:4). And it’s those little “maybe’s” that keep us conditioned in the struggle, that consistently temper our character, keeping it in shape for those sure days to come when hope is the only friend we have. “Maybe it will rain tomorrow . . . maybe!”

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