Devotion in Motion: The Answer to Your Problem

 12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.

 13 “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.

 14 “And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”  Luke 14:12-14 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

[Editor’s note:  In 1987, Bro. John L. Cash was a 25-year-old country preacher who was in the midst of his 2nd year of located ministry. He experienced his first dose of real discouragement in his work in the pastorate — especially in dealing with people who were impatient with others and intolerant of other Christians. He wrote a letter to an older minister, seeking advice. This was the excellent letter he received in return. The writer had typed the letter using a manual typewriter, front and back on half a sheet of paper. Bro. John has consulted this scrap of paper hundreds of times, and the advice has stood the test of time. He hopes it will comfort and strengthen you, also.]

28 February 1987

Dear John,

Sometimes it helps for us to realize that the problem that’s bugging us is a common one. That may not ease the trauma of the problem, but it helps us to see that if others along the way have either worked their way through the problem or have found grace to bear it, then we, too, can handle it.

You have something important going for you in that you know how to count your blessings in spite of your problem. You have your wife, friends, and above all the Lord on your side. And therein will be part of the answer to your problem: think positively about life, keep your blessings before you, and don’t allow yourself to become sour or bitter.

It also helps to realize that there are no jobs without problems — not even in the White House! There is probably no job that does not have some frustration.

But once all that is said, the fact remains that you have a frustrating ministry and you’re looking for an answer. One answer is that there is no answer, for as long as you are dealing with people and especially church folk you will have frustrations galore. Jesus himself had your problem, especially Jesus, for He was stymied at every turn in his efforts to make people whole. He found his answer in losing himself in His Father’s will — and by completely being absorbed with “not my will but Thine be done.” And when it comes down to it, that’s the only answer there is.

You can say with full assurance that the Lord knows all about it, and you can lay it all before Him. You are, after all, His bond-servant, so in one sense the problem is not yours but His.

Take the days one by one and do not be too concerned about what may lie down the road. Make every day a thing of joy, learn to appreciate the little things, take time for children and the aged, give attention to those that others ignore, take people into your confidence and share with them the joys of simple living. It may help to think of Jesus being at your side in all these things, for He is indeed with you and in you.

Resist worry and downheartedness as you would resist Satan himself. Keep saying “yes” to life and to your job. You will find that you have no problem that cannot be transcended by your own resolve to do God’s will, let come what may. Victory comes to those that hang tough amidst tough times.

As for dealing with those who have a sectarian spirit, which can be so depressing if we allow it to be, we can take heart that Jesus had the same problem, and He faced it by praying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” In the end, this is your answer and mine.

To liberate our people from sectarianism, we have to be there with them amidst their sectarianism, and seek to understand it and to respond to it with forbearing love. Nothing is gained by running from it.

Finally, you will find your answer in the house of prayer, as you move from room to room, praising God, thanking Him, praying for those who are not yet liberated, calling by name those who would abuse you. There can be no defeat for one who lingers in the house of prayer.

As ever,

Dr. Leroy Garrett

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 26 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he has a desk-job at a public school and teaches Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 21) and Seth (age 17) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher is mighty glad he did not leave this church all those years ago.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to