The Red Oak Restaurant

Read: Romans 5:1-9

Endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (v. 4)

In a terrifying rush of destruction, the entire town of Sanford quickly became enveloped in a murky swath of contaminated water, debris, upended trees, and twisted metal. In this small community of 859 people, not a single building or home went unscathed. For Melissa Ayotte and her father Kevin, it was devastating. Their 50-year-old, family-owned restaurant, the Red Oak Restaurant, was destroyed. When the waters abated two days later, the inside of the building was coated in mud and silt. Not a single plate, cup, or spoon remained.

Despite the challenge, the Ayottes planned to rebuild. Armed with grit, faith, and the love for their community, Melissa began securing business licenses, new equipment, loans, and even donations from the community via a GoFundMe page. Volunteers stopped by the building to assist with appliance installation and other needed tasks. The outpouring of community support not only buoyed their spirits but strengthened their resolve. For Melissa and Kevin, Sanford is their home. They are committed to providing meals and a community gathering spot.

In Romans we learn about who Christ is as much as about who we are in Christ. Specifically, Romans 5 teaches us about character, our character, fashioned and formed in the midst of tribulation. In Christ we can persevere and endure all things. In Christ is our hope and our peace. —Tammy DeRuyter

As you pray, ask God to show you how endurance and perseverance has shaped your character.

About the Author

Tammy DeRuyter is a former stockbroker turned student of theology and history. She holds master’s degrees in both from Fuller Theological Seminary and Central Michigan University. Married for more than 25 years to Michael, an ordained RCA pastor, they have three emerging, young adult children ages 20, 21, and 22—the youngest of whom was adopted at 11.