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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Jerry’s Ranch

When Jerry was a little boy, he wanted to be a cowboy. He spent countless hours in front of the television, watching reruns of Gunsmoke and Bonanza. He just knew that someday he would live on a ranch, wear a big cowboy hat, and ride the range just like all his cowboy heroes. When he was seven years old, Jerry said, "Dad, I want to be a cowboy when I grow up. Will you help me be a cowboy?"

"Sure, Son," said his dad, smiling down on his little cowpoke. As the years went by, Jerry grew into a fine young man. As you might expect, he outgrew his childhood fantasy of becoming a cowboy and turned instead to girls, sports, studying, and preparing himself for a career in the business world.

One day Jimmy went to his father again and said, "Dad, I want to go to college and get a good education. Will you help me?"

His dad said, "College? Son, you can't go to college. When you were seven, you said you wanted to be a cowboy. So I bought you a ranch in Texas with 50 head of cattle! There's no money for you to go to college. Besides, you need to take care of that ranch. It's all yours!"

"But Dad!" said Jerry. "I was just a child when I said that! I didn't know then what I know now. I don't want a ranch! I want an education!"

Have you ever wondered why God doesn't always answer your prayers exactly the way you want Him to? Maybe it's because we're like Jerry. As God's children, we don't always know what's best for us.

Instead of grumbling about "unanswered" prayers, we should be thankful God doesn't always answer our prayers the way we think He should. If he did, we might end up like Jerry — with a ranch instead of an education.

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward