The Handwriting on the Coal Bucket

 In Blog, Pam Cavanaugh

Several years ago, when we lived in Louisville, I gave a dear friend a coal bucket for her to paint a Kentucky home scene on. The bucket belongs to my husband and when he was growing up, he used this bucket to bring coal into the house. But we moved away from Louisville, and I forgot about the project.


About a month ago, I received the coal bucket in the mail. My friend had watched the journey the Lord took our family through when we lived near her. To my surprise, there was no Kentucky home scene on the bucket. She enclosed a note saying she had lost the sketch of my husband’s boyhood home and decided to hand write on the bucket. She chose a Scripture for the bucket as she reflected on how the Lord had indeed tried our family and brought us into a wealthy place in Him. She is right, we can plan things out, but the Lord’s timing and plans are always better than anything we can come up with.


When I sit in my chair drinking my cup of coffee, I can look towards my hearth, where I have placed the coal bucket, and read the handwriting on the bucket. She beautifully wrote Zechariah 13:9: “I will refine ‘the Cavanaughs’ as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, it is My people: they shall say, The LORD is my God.”


Lord, You have tested us and tried us, and I can say, “You are my God.” I am reminded of some words from the glorious hymn that sums up this verse: “How Firm a Foundation”.


“Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed.

For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;

I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, 

and cause thee to stand,

Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.


When thro’ fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,

My grace all­ sufficient shall be thy supply;

The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design

Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.”


 Thank You, Lord, for being my firm foundation. I am blessed by the handwriting on the coal bucket.


In Christ our Lord,

Pam Cavanaugh


Image © Photograf | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

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  • Rachel

    What a wonderful story. Amen & amen.

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