Daily Devotional

Joni Eareckson Tada’s inspirational daily devotionals are biblical insights that will enrich,
enlighten, and encourage you in your walk with Christ Jesus.

The Shovel Spoon

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. -Proverbs 16:9

The other day after work, my friend Judy and I decided to treat ourselves to dinner at a fancy restaurant. When we sat down, she looked in my handbag for my bent spoon. (I feed myself with a special spoon ‘crooked’ at an angle so that it fits into my arm splint). It wasn't there. Our first thought was to try to bend one of the restaurant spoons, but they were too heavy.   

I groaned. I was so disappointed. Judy would have to feed me my dinner. Just then she piped up, "There's a kitchen store across the street. After we order, I'll see if they have an easy-to-bend spoon." I wasn't very hopeful.

When she returned, Judy held up the oddest-looking spoon I’d ever seen. It was small with a flattened edge, like a little shovel. After Judy bent it and slipped it into my arm splint –about the time our dinners arrived -- I gave my new utensil a try. It was perfect.  It worked much better than the old one. I never would have known such a spoon existed had I not lost my "favorite." I thought my old spoon was irreplaceable, but God had a better idea. I only discovered God's idea after I lost "what I couldn't live without."

Often we cannot envision the better "new thing" God has in mind until we lose the old. I had planned to sit glum-faced at the restaurant, be fed, and be disappointed. However, God was determined to “turn my mourning into dancing,” as well as teach me a lesson about His provision. Obviously our great God determines not only our steps, but sometimes... how we eat dinner.

Lord God, the next time I lose a prized possession, help me not to be discouraged. Enable me to accept my loss and to anticipate the "better thing" you have in mind. And I realize that "better thing" may well be my attitude.