‘Hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.’ Proverbs 14:23 NIV

One day a grandfather told his grandchildren the story of how he went to live in America. He told about the trains and ship that took him from his home in Eastern Europe. He told of being processed along with other immigrants at Ellis Island, and how he’d gone to a cafeteria in Lower Manhattan to get something to eat. He sat down at an empty table and waited a long time for someone to take his order, but nobody came.

Finally a woman with a tray full of food sat down opposite him and explained how a cafeteria works. ‘You start at the end,’ she said, pointing towards a stack of trays. ‘Then you go along the food line and pick out what you want. At the other end they’ll tell you how much you have to pay.’

The grandfather reflected for a moment and said, ‘I soon learned that’s how everything works in America. Life is a cafeteria here. You can get anything you want—even very great success—if you’re willing to pay the price. But you’ll never get what you want if you wait for someone to bring it to you. You have to get up and get it yourself.’ The difference between where you are right now and where you want to be can be summed up in two words—hard work!

‘Does God want me to succeed?’ you ask. Yes, but He won’t drop success into your lap. He promised to ‘bless all the work of your hands.’ (Deuteronomy 28:12 NIV) Countless hours, tireless effort, and constant improvement make the difference between ambition and success.

SoulFood: Deut 18:9–18, Dan 2, Isa 47:5–15, Acts 16:16–34

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©