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March 9, 2009

Mingled with Joy

The 1930’s were years packed with anxiety, dread, and fear. Like today, there was very little security to be found in worldly possessions. Yet, the students, faculty and staff at Toccoa Falls College saw these years as being times that were “mingled with joy.” And we can do the same.

“To be sure,” writes Lorene Moothart in Achieving the Impossible, “the college was affected by the years of depression and drought. There were the times, especially in the early thirties when life at the college was tough. [At one point,] Rev. Forrest sold his new Buick so that he would have money to buy food for the students. He always said that he was amply repaid for his sacrifice by seeing those young people continue their education and enter into full-time ministry. Later, on more than one occasion, former students and friends gave him a new automobile so he could continue his work for the college.

“[But during these lean years,] there were weeks when the students and staff members had to do things like drink sassafras tea with their meals because there was no money to buy regular tea.” Will Prather, the college’s cook, would take a shovel and go out and dig sassafras roots out of the ground. “The tea tasted good—just the same” wrote Moothart.

In times like these, it is tempting to wonder and worry if you will be able to make it through such leanness and difficulty. Survival has a lot to do with attitude. If yours is set on anything other than Jesus Christ, then you will face disappointment and frustration.

Has God ever failed you? No. Is He willing to provide perfectly for your every need? Absolutely. Just as He has never forgotten the tree He planted at Toccoa Falls College over a hundred years ago, he will not forget you. And even if you end up having to drink a small cup of sassafras tea now and then, it will taste “just the same” and perhaps, even better than you think. Often God’s richest blessings are wrapped in testing and sacrifice. But the joy that comes as a result of these is much greater than the trials themselves. And it is always mingled with His goodness, faithfulness, and hope.

Taken from the online devotional book, A Present Peace © 2009