Bible Reading Plan, discouragement, hope

Bite of Bread: January 20-26 (Reading Plan of Praise and the Parable of the Toenail)

Warning: This post contains possible TMI (too much information), discussion of embarrassing human issues, and relates the smallest of problems to the greatness of God’s faithfulness and bigger plan.



By French artist Camille Pissarro. courtesy Wikimedia
By French artist Camille Pissarro. courtesy Wikimedia



I fought it for almost 15 years. I tried everything possible to get rid of it, but nothing, even the strongest of oral medications could eradicate the problem. I gave up hope and resigned to the fact that the nail on my big toe would never be healthy.

But one day a new doctor noticed the infected nail during a routine visit. She asked me some questions then proceeded to give me a prescription for a topical cure. It’s not healed yet, but I see signs of a healthy nail. Hope has been restored.

I apologize for the triviality of this story. It’s just a nail. But’s it’s really not about the nail, it’s about my heart.

In the smallest of human trials God is whispering to me, “Andy, when you have lost all hope…when you think things will never change, those thoughts are lies. They are wrong. I CAN do anything. There is always hope. Keep on, keepin’ on. Don’t give up and don’t resign to the belief that things will never change.”

This is a lesson He’s teaching me in many ways. (My hair is another awesome story, but I’ll leave that for another day.)

What have you given up hoping for? Healing?… Marriage?… Job?…The illusive dream?

Don’t give up.

Do you have a testimony of a big or small trial that God turned from hopelessness to the promise of life and change? Have you ever given up only to find that God was still working and had a better plan?

I’d love to hear your testimonies of the faithfulness and greatness of our God. I’d also love to pray for you if you are discouraged. Leave a comment below.

The reading plan this week will lead you to praise everyday. Enjoy. And don’t give up. Keep on keepin’ on. Things are not what they seem.

Pray with me?

“Oh Lord, open our ears to your voice, our eyes to your lessons, and our heart to your faithfulness. Let us be encouraged in the small things so we can trust you in the big ones and persevere…endure with hope. Don’t let us give up on the healing, the dreams, and the callings. We love you, Jesus. Amen.”


Reading Plan


Reading Plan Jan 20-26

 Want to give a shout out to Rachel Wojo! Check out her encouraging blog and other links on her Whimsical Wednesday link party!


  1. Marie Brown

    Thanks Andy. Love to all of you too….

  2. Marie Brown

    Andy, Thank you for doing this Bite of Bread. I was wondering what I was going to do for a devotional this year. I’m also doing your on your knees challenge. Although I do mine at night .That’s when I have my quiet time. That challenge has been wonderful it really brings you closer to The Lord. Thank, you again for sharing with us. I’m sure you are blessing many people through this ministry..

    1. Oh Marie! Thank you for commenting. I’m so blessed to know you are doing the challenge and reading the weekly scriptures. Thank you for sharing how the knee challenge brings you closer to His Presence. I feel that way too. It makes no difference what time of day you do it! Give your family my love.

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