My friend, may I ask you a question? Is God working beneath the surface of our pain? A message that God has for each of us daily? From His perspective, are pain and sorrow tools to an end and not an end unto themselves?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
While cutting and splitting wood the other day I took notice of the annual rings in the stump of the beech that I had just felled. The rings were evenly spaced through most of the tree’s growth. But, in the last ten or fifteen rings, they were compressed and of a different, darker color. It was obvious that the tree had been struggling with the environment over the last decade or so of its life. With less rainfall and warmer temperatures, it had tried to compensate by pushing less moisture up through its limbs, thereby keeping more in the critical root structure. On the surface, none of this was visible, for the bark gave no clue of what lies beneath. Only when the exterior is stripped away are its inner struggles revealed.
Similarly, God uses our grief and struggles to strengthen us in ways that are not visible to the world.
Here’s a story: The home of Paul Laurence Dunbar, noted poet, is open to the public in Dayton, Ohio. When Dunbar died, his mother left his room exactly as it was on the day of his death. At the desk of this brilliant man was his final poem, handwritten on a pad. After his mother died, her friends discovered that Dunbar’s last poem had been lost forever. Because his mother had made his room into a shrine and not moved anything, the sun had bleached the ink in which the poem was written until it was invisible. The poem was gone. (Henry Simon).
A. W. Tozer wrote: “Seldom does God use a person greatly who has not been hurt deeply.” As Christians it’s important for us to recognize this. Like that Beech tree, God takes the struggles of this life and goes beneath the surface of the pain and suffering to temper something good and lasting. He tempers faith all the more boldly where pain is evident. He creates purpose where a meaningless act of fate has torn into our lives. Dunbar’s mother would have done far better to have read the poem and then shared it with others. This would not have released her from the pain but it would have revealed what God had worked beneath the surface of that pain, a faith built stronger upon the sting of that grief, to the world. This is the message that God has for each of us daily. From His perspective, pain and sorrow are tools to an end and not an end unto themselves. Beneath the surface of your life and mine lies the rest of the story.
We pray. Dear Lord. When pain strikes our lives it really gots us down. We don’t know what to do. We ask that You bestow Your wisdom upon us. We don’t want to lean on our own knowledge anymore, because it has let us down so many times. We need to hear Your voice. Give us the discernment to hear Your voice and Your voice alone. Speak to us in the way You know we will hear you best. We give You the praise and the glory under every circumstances because we know that we are exactly where You want us to be. We know this is to teach us something or to help us to grow. No matter what, we trust you and ask You to show us what is best in this and every situation. May we live in Your perspective. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.