"If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea." (Mark 9:42 NRSV)
Billy Graham tells of his son Franklin's experience in the Middle East. Franklin was visiting a camp which held nationals from Kuwait. These people had traveled for days across the hot burning desert in buses. He noticed a woman who looked very distressed. She had small children around her. As Franklin began talking with her he discovered that she had given birth to a baby just three days before she and her family were evacuated from Kuwait.
The newborn baby was dirty and smelly. Franklin was able to help this young mother with needed supplies. He saw to it that she received medical attention as well. The mother thanked him for helping them. As they continued their conversation she revealed that she had once been a Christian, but affluence had come between her and God. She had gotten herself into a rut and was unable to get herself out of it. She drifted away from God. Franklin, she said, had rekindled the dormant flame within her. As he shared with her God's willingness to forgive her, she found new fellowship with God.
The last thing she said to Franklin was, "I just thank God for allowing my family to lose everything in Kuwait so I could find Him again."
Dear God, show me the things I need to get rid of so that I may be closer to you. Amen.
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