Stand firm, and you will win life.” (Luke 21:19)
My wife has some very stark gardening practices. Her basic assumption is that anything worth growing should be able to grow back. Each fall and spring she basically cuts back every flower bearing or beauty adding plant in the yard.
She uses a pushing lawn mower to mow down daffodils. She whips down planted wild flowers. If I’d let her I’m certain she would cut back rose bushes with my chainsaw. It is her conviction that only the strong should survive!
She does make a good point though. “When you cut them way back and feed and water them they come back more lush and beautiful than before.” Her methods to me seem unnecessarily blunt but I must admit her little flower garden blooms with simple beauty.
The plants that stand firm in their roots are able to receive the nutrition she pours on them in their semi-dormant state and blossom in spring time; very much to the joy and satisfaction of their gardener.
Friend, God works similarly with us. Watchman Nee says it this way. “God must bring us to a point–I cannot tell you how it will be, but he will do it–where, through a deep dark experience, our natural power is touched and fundamentally weakened, so that we no longer dare trust ourselves.
He has had to deal with some of us very strangely, and take us through difficult and painful ways, in order to get us there . . . But then at last it is that he can begin to use us . . .”
Our greatest good is His greatest glory. Our pain, at least in one sense, is the allowance of pruning through pain so that in due season we will explode with the radiant colors and bountiful bouquet of worship to God. Stand firm in the pain. Through it we will win life!
Romans 14:8 in the ESV says, “For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”
Prayer: Mighty and Everlasting God, be glorified in my pain as I find myself satisfied in Your love. Brimg revival in me through pruning. Amen.
About the author:
Chris Surber is the Pastor at Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk, Virginia. He is a religion columnist for the Suffolk News Herald. You can his website at http://www.chrissurber.com
How may we grow in our devotion to God in our pain today? God alone is the righteous judge. How may we enter into increased devotion to His will in our trial?
Chris thought you may enjoy this sermon by Leonard Ravenhill “What is Your Life?”