In 1911, William Rathvon, wrote a story that is as meaningful today as it did then. Titled “The Devil’s Yard Sale”, it has been reprinted many times, including on page 17 of the January, 1952 issue of Guideposts Magazine.
It was once announced that the Devil was going out of business and would offer his tools for sale to whoever would pay his price. On the day of the sale, his tools were all attractively displayed, and a familiar lot they were. Malice, envy, hatred, jealously, carnality, deceit, and all the other implements of evil were spread out, each marked with its price. Apart from the rest lay a harmless looking ,wedge-shaped tool, much worn and priced far higher than everything else. Someone asked the Devil what it was,
“That’s the wedge of discouragement ,” he replied.
“Well, why so you have it priced so high?”
“Because," said the Devil, “it is more useful to me than any other tool. I can wedge open and get inside almost anyone's heart with it, when they would never yield to my other tools. Once inside, I can use my discouraged victim in whatever way suits me best. My wedge is so worn out because I use it with nearly everybody, since few people realize it belongs to me.”
“You say you use this wedge of discouragement with nearly everybody. With whom can you not use it.?”
The Devil hesitated a long time and finally admitted in a low voice, “I cannot use it to wedge open a grateful heart."