Devotion in Motion: When the poison becomes the remedy

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

When I was a little boy in Arkansas, my best friend was Ralph Karkur. One day Ralph’s dog got sick. Back then, medical treatment was a lot more basic than it is now. So Ralph took his dog to the veterinarian, and the doctor told him the sad news that his pet was dying of heart worms.

However, the doctor said there was one treatment they could attempt as a “last ditch effort.” The vet would put the dog on a very accurate scale to see how many pounds the dog weighed. Then he would consult his medical textbook to find the proper dosage of arsenic for an animal that size. The doctor would use a balance to measure out the tiny amount of toxic powder to the very gram. The dose of poison would then be mixed with a dish of food and fed to the dog.

The doctor said there were three possible outcomes to this treatment. Too small a dose of poison would be ineffective, and the dog would die of heartworms. Too large a dose of arsenic would kill both the dog and heartworms together. But the perfectly calculated and measured dose would bring about a complete cure. The tricky part was finding and preparing the right dosage—one that would kill the parasites without harming the host.

Ralph rightly realized he had nothing to lose by agreeing to the treatment. Without treatment, his beloved pup was certain to pass away. Fortunately, the dose of poison was exactly right. The heartworms were killed, and the dog was cured. And the dog went on to live many happy years in good health. His poison had become his remedy.

Today’s Scripture lesson (at the top) teaches us that God Himself allows His children to go through times of trial and temptation. And, because the testing of our faith is not pleasant or easy, we might be tempted to say the Lord is trying to poison us. But this is never the case. St. Paul says God will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear. He will always uphold us and provide a means of escape.

He is the Master Pharmacist—and He individually prescribes the remedy that will cure each of His children. And His prescriptions (though sometimes bitter-tasting) will never harm us, but will surely make us whole.

Dear mama, don’t be discouraged about your difficulties this week. God is with you to strengthen you, if you only remember to ask Him. Put your faith fully in the Saviour as He works in your life to conform you more fully into the image of  His Son.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 34 ½ years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He’s currently on a sabbatical from the preaching ministry, and is an English teacher at the Choctaw Tribal School. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town. You can send him a note at

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