January 29 Day 29
How Then Shall We Live?
Devotions on Living a Deeper Christian Life
Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust” – Psalm 40:4
The Cobbler and the King
There was once a king who ruled his small country with justice and love. Unknown to his subjects, the king would put on a disguise in the evenings and roam the streets of his the towns in order to understand life from the perspective of his people.
One night, as he walked in disguise, the king was drawn to simple cottage. The doors and windows were thrown wide open, and inside a rather robust man was eating and singing with great volume. Knocking on the door, the king inquired, “Is a guest welcome here?”
“A guest is a gift from God!” the man shouted. “Please, enter and eat with me.”
The king sat down and began to eat the very simple but substantial food that rested on the table. The two men talked freely, immediately feeling a bond between them. Finally, the king asked, “What is your trade my friend?”
“I am a cobbler,” came the enthusiastic reply. “Each day I take my tool kit and wander about town fixing people’s shoes. They give me some pennies, and I spend it all to buy my evening meal.”
“You spend all of your money each day?” the king asked incredulously. “Don’t you save for the future? What about tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow is in the hands of God, my friend,” laughed the cobbler. “He will provide, and I will praise him day by day.”
Before the king left that evening, he asked if he might return the next night. “You are always welcome, my friend,” the cobbler replied warmly.
On the way home the king developed a plan to test the simple cobbler. The next morning he issued a proclamation prohibiting the repair of shoes without a permit. When he returned the next evening he found the cobbler eating and drinking and making merry.
“What have you done today, dear friend.” The king asked, hiding his surprise.
“When I heard that our gracious king had issued a proclamation prohibiting the repair of shoes without a permit, I went to the well, drew water, and carried it to homes of people. They gave me some pennies, I put them in my pocket, and went out and spent it all this food,” the cobbler sang. “Come, eat, there is plenty for both of us.”
“You spent it all?” the king asked. “What if you cannot draw water tomorrow? Then what will you do?”
“Tomorrow is in the hands of God!” the cobbler shouted. “He will provide, and I, his simple servant, will praise Him day by day.”
The next morning the king decided to test his new friend again. He sent heralds throughout the land announcing that it was illegal for one person to draw water for another. That evening when he returned to visit the cobbler, he found him eating drinking and enjoying life as before. “I worried about you this morning when I heard the king’s proclamation. “What did you do?”
“When I heard our good king’s new edict, I went out to chop wood. When I had a bundle, I brought it to town and sold it. People gave me some pennies, I put them in my pocket, and when the workday was over, I spent it all on food. Come, let us eat.”
“You worry me,” the king said. “What if you cannot chop wood tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow, good friend is in the hands of God. He will provide.”
Early the next morning the king’s heralds announced that all woodchoppers should report immediately to the palace for service in the king’s army. The cobbler-turned woodcutter obediently reported and was trained all day. When evening came, he was given no wages but allowed to take his sword home. On the way home, he stopped at a pawnshop where he sold the blade. Then he bought his food, as usual. Returning to his house, he took a piece of wood and carved a wooden blade, attached it to the sword’s hilt, and placed it in his sheath.
When the king arrived that evening, the cobbler told him the entire story. “What happens tomorrow if there is a sword inspection?” the kings asked.
“Tomorrow is in the hands of God,” answered the cobbler calmly. “He will provide.”
In the morning the officer in charge of the palace guard took the cobbler by the arm. “You are to act as executioner today. This man has been sentenced to death. Cut off his head.”
“I am a gentle man,” the cobbler protested. “I have never hurt another man in my life.”
“You will do as you are commanded!” the officer shouted.
As they walked to the place of execution, the cobbler’s mind was exploding. As the prisoner knelt before him, the cobbler took the hilt of his sword in one hand, raised his other palm to the heavens and prayed in a loud voice. “Almighty God, you alone can judge the innocent and the guilty. If this prisoner is guilty let my sword be sharp and my arm be strong. If, however, he is innocent, let this sword be made of wood.”
Dramatically, the cobbler pulled his sword from the sheath. The people were amazed to see that the sword was made of wood. The king, who had watched the events from a distance, ran to his friend and revealed his true identity. “From this day forward you will come and live with me. You will eat from my table. I will be the host and you will be the guest. What do you say about that?”
The cobbler smiled from ear to ear. “What I say is, the Lord has provided, and you and I together will praise Him day by day.” (As told by William R. White).
The Bible tells us, “Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust” (Psalm 40:4). You want to be Blessed? This means that you can take the most intimate struggle that you face today, and give it over to the One who has laid a plan for your life. He hasn’t forgotten you in this present day struggle you find yourself in today. Nothing is too big for Him. Yet, we fight to hold on to the worry and control of our lives with both hands. God uses the word “Blessed” here, which can literally be translated, “Oh how happy is the man that maketh the Lord his trust.”
The Christian life is not an easy one, but it is a fulfilling one. God has given us many examples in His word about people struggling to learn how to trust Him. We fail time and again, yet He petitions us to try again. To trust in the Lord with all of your heart involves an effort on our part. It is a choice of your will. As the old preacher used to say, “Trust and obey, or rust and decay.”
The Cobbler chose to rely on God, despite his unfortunate circumstances. Learn from the lesson of the cobbler and realize that tomorrow is truly in the hands of God…. He will provide.
Words to Think About…
“When Jesus takes your hand, He keeps you tight. When Jesus keeps you tight, He leads you through your whole life. When Jesus you through your life, He brings you safely home.” – Corrie ten Boom
<>—SOMEONE ONCE ASKED D.L.MOODY —<>
Someone once asked evangelist D.L. Moody how he managed to remain so intimate in his relationship with Christ. He replied,
“I have come to Him as the best friend I have ever found, and I can trust Him in that relationship. I have believed He is Savior; I have believed he is God; I have believed His atonement on the cross is mine, and I have come to Him, and submitted myself on my knees, surrendered everything to Him, and gotten up and stood by His as my friend, and there isn’t any problem in my life, there isn’t any uncertainty in my work but I turn and speak to Him as naturally as to someone in the same room, and I have done it these years because I can trust in Jesus.”