A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the old mule braying in the well and after careful consideration he decided that neither the mule nor the well were worth saving. So he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened and he enlisted them to haul some dirt over to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his friends continued shoveling and as the dirt hit the old mule’s back a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt hit his back he would shake it off and step up. This is what he did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up, shake it off and step up, shake it off and step up. He repeatedly encouraged himself.”

No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought panic and just kept on shaking it off and stepping up. It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of the well. What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him. All because of his outlook on life.*


Read Proverbs 15:15 from your Bible.


Trusting God changes how a person looks at life. Picture looking through a pair of tinted glasses. If they are tinted yellow, everything you see will be tinted yellow. If they are tinted blue, all you see will be tinted blue. If you look through the eyes of faith, everything you face will be touched and interpreted by that trust in Christ. Question: Do you view situations through eyes of faith and trust in Christ?

Trusting God results in joy, peace, and confidence—even in the midst of difficulties, not to mention that you become a giver of a positive outlook for the children to whom you minister. It’s okay to ask your kids to pray for you—to be tranparent and let them see how a godly person responds in difficult times. Let’s take a lesson from the old mule today. If you are facing difficulties right now, keep your trust in God and wait and watch as God takes the “bad” and shakes it off to make a platform on which you can step up and give Him glory.

Prayerfully consider what you have read today. Then take a few moments to pray for yourself, your students, and others with whom you serve in ministry.

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*Source of the story is unknown.

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