During John Wesley’s student days, a poor porter, whose job it was to carry people’s luggage, knocked on Wesley’s door one evening and asked to speak with him.

During their conversation, Wesley observed the man’s thin coat. It was a cold night, and Wesley suggested that he had better get another coat.

“This is the only coat I have,” the man replied, “and I thank God for it.”

Wesley asked the man if he had eaten and the man answered, “I have had nothing today but water to drink, but I thank God for that.”

Wesley, growing uneasy in the man’s presence, reminded him that he would have to leave soon or be locked out. “Then what would you thank God for?” Wesley asked.

“I will thank God,” replied the man, “that I have dry stones to lie upon.”

Wesley was deeply moved by the man’s sincerity and he said to him, “You thank God when you have nothing to wear, nothing to eat, and no bed to lie on. What else do you thank God for?”

The simple man replied, “I thank God that he has given me life, a heart to love him, and a desire to serve him.”

After the man had left with a coat from Wesley’s closet, some money for food, and words of appreciation for the witness he had made, Wesley wrote in his journal, “I shall never forget that porter. He convinced me there is something in religion to which I am a stranger.”

 Source | Maxie Dunnam, Jesus’ Claims, Our Promises
(Nashville: Upper Room, 1985) pages 61-62


Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus, for you. | 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“I shall never forget that porter. He convinced me there is something in religion to which I am a stranger.” Are we still strangers to this kind of faith?


Two friends met on the street. One of them was very down. He seemed a bit agitated and resentful.

The other friend asked him, “What has the world done to you to make you feel this way?”

The friend responded, “Well, you know, three weeks ago an uncle died and he left me $40,000.”

“Hmmm.” the other said. “Well, I don’t really view that as a problem. Is there something else?”

“Well, yeah, you see, two weeks ago, a cousin died and left me $85,000.”

“Wow, that’s great! So, what’s the problem?”

“You don’t understand. You see, last week, my great aunt died, and she left me almost a quarter million dollars!”

The friend shook his head and said, “Okay, I guess I’m just not understanding something here. I understand that members of your family died, and I can understand your pain and loss. But after all, as a result, you are being blessed beyond what most of us could hope for.”

“No, you really don’t understand,” the other replied. “You see, this week … nothing.”

Source | Martie McMane, Living Grace: Spiritual Growth in the Everyday World
(Marlin Press, 2011) page 129.


How easy it is to focus on what we don’t have and go blind to what we do have.