My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you often find yourself saying, ”If we can just make it through these difficult days, I know we can make it." That's been on a lot of peoples' lips these days. If I can keep my job; if I can hold on to these benefits . . . if I can just stay healthy . . . if I can get that one bill paid . . . if, if, if?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
"If we can just make it through these difficult days, I know we can make it." That's been on a lot of peoples' lips these days. If I can keep my job; if I can hold on to these benefits . . . if I can just stay healthy . . . if I can get that one bill paid . . . if, if, if. There's nothing wrong with asking "if" as long as the goal is a good one. Just yesterday I found myself ask- ing that question. "If I can just make these tires last until summer, I think I can squeeze out another 5,000 miles." Trying to save some money now, I was deferring a purchase until later in the year. My goal: to delay a bill. Good goal? Perhaps a better goal would be: "If I replace these tires now, I will be both safer and avoid, perhaps, an additional bill for auto repairs due to a blowout on the highway?" How often my "ifs" really ought to make way for God's "I know better."
Man proposes but God disposes. We think we know what is best for us, only to find out that we haven't a clue.
Here's a thought from John Bevere: "There are many things we can learn from plants and trees. For example, when a fruit tree is put into the ground it has to face rainstorms, hot sun, and wind. If a young tree could talk, it might say, "Please get me out of here! Put me in a place where there is no sweltering heat or windy storms!" If the gardener listened to the tree, he would actually harm it. Trees endure the hot sun and rainstorms by sending their roots down deeper. The adversity they face is eventually the source of greater stability. The harshness of the elements surrounding them causes them to seek another source of life and someday even the greatest of windstorms won't be able to affect their ability to produce fruit. I live in Florida, a citrus state. Most Floridians know that the colder the winter is for the trees, the sweeter the oranges." (Bevere, John)
If we didn't run so fast from God and His challenges, our root systems would have a chance to become stronger and deeper, and our fruit would be plentiful and sweeter in the eyes of God and more palatable to His people! We would be mature trees in which the Lord delights, rather than ones uprooted for their lack of fruit (Luke 13:6-9). We shouldn't resist the very things God sends to mature us. If we continually strive to keep ourselves free from pain and suffering in this life, our root system begins to shrink. The next time it WILL be easier to flee from adversity because we've been careful not to root ourselves deeply. That's true. However, eventually we'll end up coming to a place where we have little or no strength to endure additional hardship or persecution. Perhaps the situations, the "ifs" of this life, we so often seek to avoid are the very things that make us stronger, better and sweeter Christians.
We pray. Heavenly Father, we are among many who simply want to live our lives devoted to You, but free of life’s worries, cumbersome details, and irksome troubles and cares. We hope for enough money to buy things and pay our bills. We long for days filled with good things, happy things, including good health, many friendships, consistent jobs and well behaved children. We feel that it is not asking too much to want these things. Is it? Forgive us Father when we chafe at the challenges and outright hardships that often beset us in this life. We would prefer to avoid those if possible, but know, like the fruit tree, that these are the very things that will shape us into the sweeter Christians You are growing us to be. Give us the Christian stamina and personal patience to deal with life’s hardships. Help us to grow in faith and in character. 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.