Backward Thinking

March 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Cynthia Ruchti –

A woman with an often high stress job as a nurse in a small hospital gained a reputation as the town’s go-to person for all things medical that didn’t require a doctor. Decades before the advent of nurse hotlines, she created her own by default.

Before people began to refer to it as 24/7, she remained available night and day. Laboring women showed up at her door to ask if it was too early to go to the maternity ward and what they could do to ease the backache. Phone calls split the night with the question, “What can I try now? Jerry’s cough is worse,” or “The baby has this rash…”

The woman with the homemade hotline attended to every need with uncommon patience and compassion.

That came as a surprise to her children.

After long hours at the hospital and middle of the night ambulance runs and too little sleep, after tending to the needs of others, she was sometimes short and impatient with her own family. She ran out of patience because she’d spent it all on other people.

We know God is able to expand our capacity for patience to meet the breadth of our need for it. But fatigue too often wins out. And too many times the world outside our front door gets first pick of the patience.

It’s clear though that the Lord intended His life lessons to apply to the way we treat one another at home as well as how we treat people outside the walls of home. Not instead of, but in addition to. By His power.

That thought hit close to…home…this week. Am I only patient with my family members if I happen to have some left over after serving others? That can’t be what the Lord meant.

AUTHOR QUOTE: Home is a proving ground—not a scrap heap—for the kindness we show others.

“I will try to walk a blameless path, but how I need your help, especially in my own home, where I long to act as I should” (Psalm 101:2 LB).

Today’s devotional is by Cynthia Ruchti, whose debut novel—They Almost Always Come Home (Abingdon Press)—explores the “proving ground” of loving when it doesn’t make sense or seem fair. Cynthia writes and produces The Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast. Read more about these and other projects at

About Cynthia Ruchti

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, devotion collections, speaking, teaching, and a history of 33 years as a radio writer/producer. Her books have been recognized by RT Reviewers’ Choice, Retailers’ Choice, Family Fiction Readers’Choice, and other honors. Her novel When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Press Fiction) releases April 1, 2013. A nonfiction project—Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices—releases July 2013 from Abingdon Press Christian Living.


3 Responses to “Backward Thinking”
  1. Robin J. Steinweg says:

    wow, Cindy. Home is not a scrap heap. That’s good–thanks for the reminder!

  2. Alan Mowbray says:

    No matter how often I learn this lesson, time passes and I must relearn. Again. It’s surprising how easily you take your own wife and children for granted.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Hally Franz says:

    That’s a great message. We should remember to give our families our best rather than what’s left. Thanks!

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