Illustration: God will often allow crises into our lives to show us where we put our confidence. There was a farmer who one day went happily and with great joy in his heart to report to his wife and family that their best cow had given birth to twin calves, one red and one white. And he said, “You know, I have suddenly had a feeling and impulse that we must dedicate one of these calves to the Lord. We will bring them up together, and when the time comes we will sell one and keep the proceeds, and we will sell the other and give the proceeds to the Lord’s work.” His wife asked him which he was going to dedicate to the Lord. He replied that “There is no need to bother about that now, we will treat them both in the same way, and when the time comes we will do as I say.” And off he went.
In a few months the man entered his kitchen looking very miserable and unhappy. When his wife asked him what was troubling him, he answered, “I have bad news to give you. The Lord’s calf is dead.” “But,” she said, “you had not decided which was to be the Lord’s calf.” “Oh yes,” he said; “I had always decided it was to be the white one, and it is the white one that has died. The Lord’s calf is dead.”
One commentator said of this true story: “We may laugh at that story, but God forbid that we should be laughing at ourselves. It is always the Lord’s calf that dies. When money becomes difficult, the first thing we economize on is our contribution to God’s work”. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1960), pp. 95, 96).