Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

The Sand Man

Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16

It’s easy enough to express our gratitude to God when He graciously blesses us with many good things. But on those days when everything seems to go wrong, a grateful heart is harder to come by.

I’m reminded of a story by Gigi Graham Tchividjian about the time she decided to fix up the large family sandbox for her six energetic children. She called the local sand company, and a truck soon arrived. To Gigi’s dismay, the truck began making deep trenches in the grass. The ground was soft from recent heavy rain. As the driver maneuvered, the truck also broke off several branches from overhanging trees.

Then it happened. The sand truck got stuck. The more the driver accelerated, the deeper he sank, until the truck began sliding down the hill, plowing a gaping hole. An hour later, a tow truck arrived. This driver backed around and hooked up to the first truck, leaving more black trenches. He tugged and pulled, breaking sprinkler pipes, splintering branches, and uprooting small trees in the process. It was no use. Both trucks were stuck. Eventually, truck number three arrived—the cab of an eighteen-wheeler.

That night, after five-and-a-half hours of mass destruction, the three trucks departed. Gigi was left with a yard that looked like a war zone and bills for five tons of sand and two tow trucks. The day had been a disaster. But when she tucked in her eight-year-old for the night, she was astonished at his prayer: “And thank You, Lord, for the exciting day and all the entertainment we had!”

There are times when we feel we could do with a little less “excitement” and “entertainment” in our lives. But the Lord knows best, and He directs us to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). That’s a godly perspective worth remembering—on the bad days as well as the good.
- Shirley M Dobson

Illustration adapted from Weatherproof Your Heart by Gigi Graham Tchividjian (Old Tappan, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell Company, 2000).

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.

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Packed with the same wisdom Dr. Dobson has provided audiences for more than 30 years, Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk is designed to help families and influence the culture — all flowing out of a heart for spiritual transformation thru trust in Christ for every life. It's the voice you trust...for the family you love!

About Dr. James Dobson

About the Hosts:
Dr. James Dobson:

James Dobson is the host of Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk. He is also the founder of Focus on the Family, where he served for more than 30 years.

A licensed psychologist and marriage, family, and child counselor, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California for 14 years. He invested 17 years on the attending staff of Children's Hospital Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics.

Earning a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, he's authored more than 30 books, including his most recent bestseller, Bringing Up Girls. Dr. Dobson has also been heavily involved in governmental activities related to the family. He was elected in 2008 to the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley, the father of two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and the grandfather of Lincoln and Luci.


Dr. Meg Meeker:
Dr. Meg is a pediatrician, who has practiced pediatric and adolescent medicine for 25 years. She is the author of six books including the best-selling Strong Fathers/Strong Daughters: Ten Secrets Every Father Should Know, and its companions Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: The 30 Day Challenge and Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, 8 part DVD Small Group Study and WorkbookBoys Should Be BoysYour Kids At Risk, and The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose and Sanity. She is a popular speaker on pediatric health issues and child-parent relationships. Dr. Meeker has the heart of a mother and the wisdom of a pediatrician. 
Meg is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and currently teaches medical students and physicians in residency training. She has been married to her husband, Walter for 31 years. They have shared a medical practice for 20 years. They have three daughters ages 29, 27 and 25 and a son who is 21. She lives in northern Michigan.


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